Jason Statham Sold Knock-Off Jewelry On Street Corners Before He Was Discovered

Jason Statham is one of Hollywood’s most beloved action heroes, an actor who is known for playing tough, no-nonsense characters. Statham has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades, appearing in movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. He often plays anti-heroes or main characters with a conflicted past. As it turns out, that isn’t too far from Statham’s own personal history. Notably, well before he was discovered as an actor, Statham made a living doing a variety of different things — including at one point, selling knock-off jewelry in London. 

Jason Statham used to sell knock-off jewelry on the streets of London before he was discovered

Jason Statham wears a suit and smiles at a ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ screening
Jason Statham wears a suit and smiles at a ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ screening | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Jason Statham was born in England in 1967. Statham’s father worked many odd jobs when Statham was a child, including stints as a house painter, coal miner, and singer. Statham found himself drawn to martial arts, as well as football, and was active in sports when he was young. By the time he was a teenager, he was an expert swimmer and had perfected his diving technique. Still at loose ends as far as a career, he worked a series of random jobs before he was discovered — including at one point, selling knock-off designer jewelry in London.

Statham had greater ambitions beyond selling black market jewelry, however, and in the ’90s, he was discovered by a modeling agency. He went to work for brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Levis, making a name for himself as a tough-looking guy who still looked like a “normal” person. Eventually, Statham was able to break through into the acting business, although his first few gigs might not have been what he expected. 

Jason Statham got started in entertainment by working in music videos

Throughout the early ’90s, around the same time that Jason Statham was selling jewelry on London street corners, he began getting cast in music videos, including “Comin’ On” by The Shamen in 1993 and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by The Beautiful South. In 1998, Statham made his big-screen debut when he appeared in Guy Ritchie’s comedy action film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Statham later revealed that Ritchie wrote the part of a black market jewelry salesman with his own past in mind, saying that the part was “no acting required … Just me stepping into a world of cinema doing what I used to do.”

After his success working with Guy Ritchie, Statham quickly became one of Hollywood’s hottest new performers. His role as Frank Martin in the Transporter trilogy earned him further acclaim and in the years that followed, Statham continued his upward trajectory. Some of Statham’s best-reviewed films are The Italian Job, Spy, and War.

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Within the past few years, Jason Statham has built a family of his own, welcoming a son with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in 2017. He tends to live a low-key life when he isn’t working and still enjoys athletic pursuits like rock climbing and windsurfing.

Statham’s most high-profile role in recent years was Deckard Shaw in the Fast & Furious series as well as the spinoff movies. While some critics have slammed Statham for his supposed lack of range, fans love the star and the energy and enthusiasm he injects into each and every role. At the age of 53, he seems poised to remain in the movie business for many years to come.