The director of the high-profile action movie The Beekeeper on Jason Statham: the actor is very different in real life from what you see on the screen
The Hollywood action movie The Beekeeper starring Jason Statham is making its way to Ukrainian cinemas (in theaters since January 11). The film's director David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Harsh Times, Street Kings, Fury, Bright) shared the details of the shooting in an interview with OBOZ.UA.
David Ayer agreed to talk to us online from his cozy home in the United States. The artist told us why his new movie turned out to be very personal for many members of the film crew. He also shared what the work with Statham looked like.
The film follows the main character, former super agent Adam Clay, who lives in a quiet suburb where he runs an apiary. He seems to be quite happy with his quiet life, but everything changes when his elderly neighbor falls victim to financial scams. The scammers empty all of the woman's bank accounts, and Mrs. Parker commits suicide. After the tragedy, Adam Clay decides to take revenge. However, at first, the super agent does not even realize how large-scale this scam is.
"The screenwriter (Kurt Wimmer, known for Law Abiding Citizen, Total Recall, Point Break, Equilibrium) has picked up on a very topical issue that we face often today, fraud," David Ayer tells us. "I think you also come across new tricks scammers come up with in the media from time to time. The problem is widespread and takes many different forms. When we were researching this while working on the film, we were surprised to find that the phenomenon is really large-scale. Very large organized groups are involved."
"It's interesting that almost every member of our crew had a story about this," the director adds, "Someone had a distant relative deceived, and someone had even their closest parents. So we were all able to bring our personal experience to the movie. By the way, this is also a kind of personal story for Kurt Wimmer, who has already told it publicly. His widowed aunt was robbed in a similar way many years ago. Scammers gained her trust and took over her bank accounts. Because of this, she died in virtual poverty."
- Almost every one of your films is about one central character. Why did you choose Jason Statham for this one?
- I don't think I chose Jason, I think he chose me (laughs). I knew that Statham wanted to work with me, and so we finally found the opportunity to become a team. The character he embodied on the screen, among other things, is very interesting because he is guided by the idea of justice. He saves where systems have failed, where sometimes our governments fail us. And it's nice to believe that there is a hero who can fix everything. We need such men now more than ever. The film has a large-scale idea that the main character saves the whole world, but we really hoped that we would be able to make it sound realistic, not fantastic. And it is Jason, in my opinion, who has this quality. He has a great connection with the audience. Not every actor can boast of that.
- What were you afraid of when you invited Statham to your movie? What fears were realized, and in what ways did he become a revelation for you?
- You know, when I start working with actors, I always observe what they are like in real life. And it's always interesting because often the image of an actor in real life is very different from what you see on the screen. Jason turned out to be a very thoughtful man, he knows a lot. In the field of acting, in my opinion, he has encyclopedic knowledge. I mean his charisma, his energy, his ability to convey magic through the screen. He knows all the filming processes perfectly well: how to move, how the camera and lighting work. We learned something from each other. He pushed me, and I pushed him. And as a result, we got a great movie.
- How does The Beekeeper differ from the films we've seen from you?
- The Beekeeper is different because it's a genre film - an action movie - and usually my films are not necessarily classic. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I also added my own director's perspective to the plot of the genre action movie. It turned out that there is a lot of room for creativity and the realization of ideas even in a classically defined movie. I liked it so much that I'd be happy to try it again. Every movie I make is a separate adventure for me, a separate journey.
There are a lot of fight scenes in the movie. When asked how he worked on them, the director says, "It can be exhausting, but the best results are achieved through good planning. I'm a former military man, so it's not a problem for me to carry out logistical operations."
David Ayer is 55 years old (his birthday wason January 18). In his youth, he served as a submariner in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Later, this profession came in handy in his future creative life. David's first scripts were based on his experience as a sailor. His debut as a director was the movie Harsh Times. In 2014, he directed the war drama Fury, starring Brad Pitt. Another high-profile project of Ayer's is the comic book Suicide Squad. Later, the director worked with Will Smith, who starred in the movie Bright.