ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

When it comes to recognition in the movie industry, Oscars are all anyone actually cares about. I mean, sure BAFTAS are kind of nice, and I wouldn't say no to a Golden Globe, but everyone wants to have a statuette of some golden bald dude on their mantelpiece, right?

Well, movie hard-man wants to give stunt actors a shot at grabbing some of that glory. Statham, who is known for his high-octane action movies, is leading the fight in getting a Stunt-Actor category into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards. He told Variety in an interview:

All of the stunt men — these are the unsung heroes. Nobody is giving them any credibility. They're risking their necks. And then you've got poncy actors pretending like they're doing [the stunts].

Statham probably isn't including himself within the countless scores of 'poncy actors'. The British action star was a former martial artist and diver who prides himself in doing as many of his own stunts as possible.

Stunt actors have been recognized in the past by the Academy, but never in a regular fashion. Legendary stuntman and director Hal Needham, who died in October, did receive an honorary Oscar in 2012, but he was never officially eligible for any award during his career. Statham continued:

For me, it's a total injustice. [Stunt actors are] the ones getting busy. Then you have some guy standing in front of a fucking green screen screwing his face up pretending like he's doing the stunt. To me, it's like a farce. I have a real frustration with that because I know these coordinators. I train with them all the time and they are incredibly talented.

Well, when you put it like that, I guess he's got a point. If the Academy is going to recognize such diverse expertise as sound mixing, costume, visual effects and hair and makeup then it only seems fair that stunt actors get their own look in.

However, Statham might have a bit of a fight to get the Academy to give in to his demands. The Oscars are notoriously resistant to change, having only introduced two new categories in 30 years — Best Makeup and Hairstyling in 1963 and Best Animated Feature in 2001. Furthermore, his cause probably isn't helped by the fact that most 'Oscar-bait' movies do not usually feature many stunts or actions scenes. Indeed, calls for a Best Stunt Coordination award have been rejected every year since 1991.

What do you think? Do you agree with Statham? Drop your thoughts below.


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