Actor Jason Statham's real shark encounter

Jason Statham
Actor Jason Statham

Jason Statham came face-to-face with a bull shark to prepare for his new movie.

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The 51-year-old actor decided to swim with sharks in order to improve his performance in his upcoming film The Meg.

The film tells the story of a research crew who become stuck at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and risk being killed by a 22-meter-long prehistoric shark called Megalodon.

In an interview with Total Film, Jason Statham said: ''I thought I'd better figure out what it's like to go face-face-with a shark before we did this film, so I went scuba diving.

''We took a trip to Fiji. They hand feed these bull sharks with tuna heads and then the sharks circle around, and you line up behind this coral wall.

''You're within two feet of these three-meter sharks. It was a great experience.''

Jason Statham represented England in the Commonwealth games in 1993 for diving, and has scuba-dived recreationally for 20 years, and he believes this makes him a great choice for the movie.

He said: ''I've been around swimming pools my whole life, and I learned to scuba dive when I made the first Transporter with Luc Besson.

''I had an unorthodox lesson with a military free diver- someone who worked with Luc when he was making the big blue.

''I really got hooked, so I thought 'if I can get paid to do this and make a good story.'''

Jason Statham worked with Jon Turteltaub on the film, and thinks that the director's personality came through in the film.

''John's sense of humour comes through on this ... it's no good him doing something that's been done in the past he has to find his own flavour.

''This smells of Jon because he's a wisecrack kind of guy, always looking for a funny moment.''