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Influence of Jason Statham on film industry explored in book by Leeds Beckett academics


Jason Statham is best known for his roles in Hollywood franchises the Fast and Furious movies and The Expendables, but now two Leeds Beckett academics are editing a book exploring the phenomenon and diversity of the British film star.

Hollywood sign

The book, Crank It Up!, will cover the actor's modern day rags-to-riches story and is being co-edited by Dr Steven Gerrard, Senior Lecturer at the Northern Film School, and Professor Robert Shail, Director of Research of the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts.

With chapters focusing on different aspects of his work - from early pop music videos and career as a Commonwealth diver, through to his Cockney 'Gallicness' in The Transporter Trilogy, to becoming a fashion icon - the book will provide an invaluable insight into how modern film stars adapt across multi-media formats.

Professor Robert Shail

Professor Robert Shail

Steven said: "There's something about him that is so curious; he may not be an Oscar-winning actor, but he has that indefinable star quality. He worked his way up and is now one of the world's most recognisable stars.

“Even though he only had one memorable scene in The Mean Machine, he stole the entire film. His Crank movies, whilst watched with caution, are indicative of his ability to parody his own star persona.

“Personally, I would love to see him as the new James Bond."

Dr Steven Gerrard

Dr Steven Gerrard

The book, which is aimed at both academic and fan audiences, is being published by Manchester University Press and will contain 13 essays. It is due to be released this year.

Robert, who is writing the first chapter about Statham's version of masculinity, added: "The contributors have each given Statham's career a different 'voice'.

“By focusing on his diversity, the book analyses his personality across a variety of media platforms."

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