David Ayer on The Beekeeper Star Jason Statham: ‘I Got Schooled by Him’

Director David Ayer has discussed working with Jason Statham on this year’s action movie hit, The Beekeeper, calling him “an action icon.” In an exclusive interview with MovieWeb, Ayer heaped praise on the work ethic and natural affinity for action cinema, revealing he got “schooled by him,” and learned a lot about action, stunts, and performance from the Crank and Transporter star,

"Jason's an action icon. He's really an action superstar, and he's his own brand…In working with him, it was really understanding how he works, what his sort of camera grammar is, and then bringing an A-game to action. When I learned his action game, it's a plus. So I kind of got schooled by him. And I learned a lot about action and stunts and performance, more than I knew already. He was just an incredible collaborator. And there's something about working with someone that just demands the best from you, that's going to bring out your best."

The Stath has been flying the flag for no-nonsense, cathartic action movies for some time now, and it certainly sounds like he has become an expert in action both on and off-screen. Clearly, Ayer had a ball working with Statham, and considering the response to The Beekeeper, no doubt many are hoping they will collaborate again in the future. On The Beekeeper 2 (The Beekeeper 2: Still BuzzingThe Beekeeper: 2 Bee or Not 2 Bee?) perhaps?

The Beekeeper finds Statham on delightfully familiar ground as the mysterious Adam Clay. After losing a dear friend to a scam, Clay leaves his quiet beekeeping ways behind as he enacts a brutal campaign for vengeance. Of course, no mere lowly beekeeper, he is soon revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as "Beekeepers."

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David Ayer Talks His Favorite Scene in The Beekeeper

During our chat with David Ayer, the director also revealed his favorite scene from The Beekeeper. Rather than one brimming with the gritty drama that the filmmaker is largely known for, his favorite is instead one that’s full of escapist fun.

"I think the gas station scene, because I didn't really have the time I wanted to shoot that scene. And I didn't walk into it confident like I normally do. And also, the movie is a little bit tonally different. Mostly my movies are kind of serious dramas, very gritty and real and intense. And in this one, I wanted to make more of an escapist, fun thrill ride. And so shooting a scene like that and finding the fun and humor within an action scene, and then doing it in like two seconds under rain bars at 3 a.m. was a challenge. But when it was all put together, it exceeded my wildest expectations."

Starring Emmy Raver-Lampman, Josh Hutcherson, Bobby Naderi, Minnie Driver, Phylicia Rashad and Jeremy Irons alongside Statham, The Beekeeper is out now in theaters and has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Check out the trailer below:

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