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Jason Statham (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images)

Tough guy Brit actor Jason Statham regards Clint Eastwood as someone he could model his career on once he gets too old for physically challenging action roles.

Statham, who stars in the action spy thriller Killer Elite, out on Friday says: “Clint Eastwood has been someone I’ve always looked up to, he plays a brilliant sort of a hero, and he doesn’t have to throw people around too much, so if I can get 5% of how cool Clint does his action movies, then I’ll be very happy.”

But 44-year-old Statham has still got a lot of punch left in him as an action star. In Killer Elite he takes on a really lethal character called Spike played by Clive Owen.

Statham says: “I think it’s the recipe for great confrontation when you get me having to fight someone as intense as Clive Owen.”

In the film Statham plays a special ops agent, brought out of self-imposed exile, to take on a mission to kill three former SAS soldiers. The targeted men are being protected by Clive Owen’s character. There are a lot of pyrotechnics.

The actor likes to do as many action moves as he can himself – so I asked him how many of the stunts he did in Killer Elite. His reply didn’t exactly clarify matters. He said: “I’ve dug a big hole doing all my own stunts. So there’s an expectation, and I come with all that to fulfill. I enjoy what I do, and the more years you spend doing this kind of thing, the better you get.”

Statham may keep his fans happy with Killer Elite but early reviews of the picture have been mixed. The view of some critics is the movie could have been more sophisticated had it incorporated more of the complexity of the source material as opposed to just falling back on conventional action. Killer Elite was inspired by the controversial book The Feather Men, written by Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 1991, which details the operations of a secret vigilante group.

Does Jason Statham have what it takes to be the next Clint Eastwood?

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Filed Under: Jason Statham, Killer Elite
By Tom Brook