How Jason Statham Nearly Died While Filming The Expendables 3 In Bulgaria

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Jason Statham, the British actor known for doing his own stunts in a string of action-packed tough guy roles, nearly died in Bulgaria while filming The Expendables 3. While tourists fear other things when visiting foreign countries, locals will swear that the Bulgarian roads are the most dangerous thing one can encounter in this country some would joke. Tons of memes about the uneven, wrecked and half-way patched up roads are circulating the Internet, a popular joke in any country for that matter, however some are vouching for the nightmares one will experience, regardless of their vehicle. Driving on Bulgarian roads becomes a challenge even for calm, capable and caring drivers, as well as apparently for veteran stuntmen like Jason Statham reported HuffPost.

Statham is not new to shooting locations on Slavic soil, having visited Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania. He’s already filmed several movies in Bulgaria alone, mainly in the capital Sofia’s Nu Boyana Film Studios, the countryside and the maritime “capital” Varna – The Expendables 2, The Expendables 3 and Mechanic: Resurrection.

“We were doing a stunt and Jason Statham was driving the truck,” Crews explained. “We were supposed to be on the back of this truck. For some reason, we’re over there talking, sipping smoothies, like yeah, yeah, you know. He gets in the truck; we’re in Varna in Bulgaria, on the edge of the Black Sea. He literally is supposed to stop the truck, we get out, we shoot, the whole thing. The truck doesn’t stop. The truck goes over the dock, into the Black Sea with Jason Statham driving.”

The Brit was in between takes when he decided to take one of the trucks for a test drive prior to shooting a scene with it. Unfortunately, as he was speeding up the breaks malfunctioned and the vehicle couldn’t be stopped. Statham didn’t have enough time to get out of the faulty truck before it went flying right into the water. During an interview he shared that the waters were muddy and nearly pitch-dark, so he couldn’t see anything as the truck filled with water and sank to the bottom of the Black Sea.

What made things worse for the British actor was the fact that he was all dressed up in hefty props – military boots, uniform, weapons, heavy gun belts and lots of other items that tried to keep him on the bottom. Fortunately, being an experienced stuntman, he didn’t let fear and frustration take over him and found a way to get out of the sunken truck. Regardless of the heavy costume, Statham’s swimming skills didn’t lead him astray and he managed to swim back to the surface.

For those of you who don’t know this, Jason Statham has had a passion for diving since he was a child, and has competed for the UK’s National Swimming Squad for a whopping twelve years. Thanks to this, he was able to escape from the near-death experience.

When asked about the incident, his The Expendables co-star Sylvester Stallone shared with the media that he genuinely thought anyone else would have had inevitably drowned if they were in Statham’s place. According to Stallone’s statement, the three ton truck was sunken to a 60 feet depth in the dark and muddy waters, making the escape nearly impossible. Nevertheless, Statham achieved the impossible in real life, similarly to what his characters do in movies.

Apparently the “close shave” with death didn’t put Statham off the idea of ever visiting Bulgarian soil again, because he returned to the country shortly afterwards to film Mechanic: Resurrection. Funnily enough, a significant amount of the new scenes were also filmed in Varna. Chances are the location scouts didn’t use the very same spot on which the actor nearly drowned, but the fact that he kept doing his own stunts in the same area is enough to leave us awestruck by him.

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