Ed Skrein On ‘The Transporter: Reloaded’ by Uinterview

Ed Skrein, the English rapper and actor, has taken over for Jason Statham as the leading man in the Transporter series – starting with the fourth film in the franchise, The Transporter Refueled.

Ed Skrein On ‘Transporter Refueled’

Statham rose to fame and fortune in the Transporter series, which could have made the prospect of filling his shoes a daunting task for 32-year-old Skrein. However, the actor, perhaps best known for briefly playing Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones before Michiel Huisman took over, treated Transporter as any other job. Skrein left what he knew about Statham’s Frank Martin at the door to create his own version of the character from scratch.

“When you’re taking on a scene, you know, you have all of this back story, and you work everything out, and you’ve done all of this research, but when you go on set you let everything go, and you just live in the moment, and try and be emotionally honest,” Skrein told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “When I’m on set, I’m not preoccupied with thoughts of anything else, you know. All I can try and be is the best Ed, and try and, you know, live honestly in this imaginary world as Frank Martin, so [taking over for Statham] really wasn’t in my in my thoughts.”

One of the ways in which Skrein had to prepare to play former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin was to brush up on his martial arts. Skrein, who didn’t have any experience with martial arts going into production, embraced the training with fight choreographer and stunt coordinator Alain Figlarz (Taken, Lucy) that made him proficient in the likes of Krav Maga and Muay Thai.

“It was obviously a challenge, but a challenge I relished. I love training and I love learning, you know. I have a pretty ferocious appetite for learning,” Skrein said. “It was close combat mainly, so you know it was a mixture of like Kali Escrima, which is a Philippino knife and stick fighting, Krav Maga, Muay Thai and English boxing.  But, we were very creative with, with what we, how we executed the choreography, and you know we try to use a lot of household and everyday objects.”

Skrein admits that he takes a certain degree of enjoyment in morphing his body to adapt to whatever a character might call for. While it may have been a different process for Skrein to prepare his physique to play villain Deadpool, to play  Frank Martin, Skrein was all about channeling the character’s functionality.

“Everything about him is about functionality, whether it’s his coffee machine, his car, his suit, or you know, his diet. So everything was very clean,” Skrein explained.  “I wanted him to be lean and functional, you know, all of the training I did was functional. I didn’t lift a weight in four months, it was all martial arts, which is specific to his job.”

Though Skrein admits that he’d allow himself one cheat day per week, in order to become Frank Martin, discipline was paramount.

“You know, I’d have my one ‘cheat meal’ every week, and you know, I’d go and have a pizza and a beer, and that was wonderful, but you know, I was living a very, very disciplined way,” Skrein told uInterview. “I was training extremely hard. I was, you know, all of my nutrition… I was monitoring myself, and it all lent itself to this disciplined motivation behind Frank Martin.”

The Transporter Refueled hits theaters Sept. 4.


Q: You studied a lot of different martial arts for the role. What did you learn? -

Well, it was a big challenge going into it, you know. I didn't have a martial arts background. I come from an endurance sports background. You know, it was obviously a challenge, but a challenge I relished. I love training and I love learning, you know. I have a pretty ferocious appetite for learning, you know, and so to be able to work, work with people like Alain Figlarz, who's worked on the Taken trilogy, and um, Lucy, and you know, is an incredible stunt coordinator, a genius at his work. That was fantastic to learn, you know, it was close combat mainly, so you know it was a mixture of like Kali Escrima, which is a Philippino knife and stick fighting, Krav Maga, Muay Thai and English boxing. But, we were very creative with, with what we, how we executed the choreography, and you know we try to use a lot of household and everyday objects.

Q: You replaced Jason Statham in the film. How is your approach different from his? -

When you're taking on a scene, you know, you have all of this back story, and you work everything out, and you've done all of this research, but when you go on set you let everything go, and you just live in the moment, and try and be emotionally honest, and, you know, it's the same, it's the same with that. When I'm on set, I'm not preoccupied with thoughts of anything else, you know. All I can try and be is the best Ed, and try and, you know, live honestly in this imaginary world as Frank Martin, so that really wasn't in my in my thoughts.

Q: What was the difference between your diet for 'Transporter' and 'Deadpool'? -

Yeah, I mean, I always like to mess around with my physicality, with the the body-fat percentage, the muscle mass, the silhouette, the posture, you know, everything is a a variable that can be changed, and I relish that. For Frank it was very important. I wanted him to, you know, he's a functional guy. Everything about him is about functionality, whether it's his coffee machine, his car, his suit, or you know, his diet. So everything was very clean, I wanted him to be lean and functional, you know, all of the training I did was functional. I didn't lift a weight in four months, it was all martial arts, which is specific to his job. So, I was eating, you know, a lot, a lot of various healthy food like steamed fish, you know, lean meats. Luckily I love vegetables 'cause I was eating a hell of a lot of them. You know, I'd have my one 'cheat meal' every week, and you know, I'd go and have a pizza and a beer, and that was wonderful, but you know, I was living a very, very disciplined way, you know. I was training extremely hard. I was, you know, all of my nutrition... I was monitoring myself, and it all lent itself to this disciplined motivation behind Frank Martin.