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Jason Statham, Idris Elba pack heat in Hobbs & Shaw

English actors Jason Statham, 52, and Idris Elba, 46, talk Hobbs & Shaw

How did the idea of a spin-off come about?

Statham: (Dwayne Johnson and I did 2017's Fast & Furious 8 where) we had a couple of great moments face to face, and people responded to the animosity and the tension in the room when we were trying to kill each other. We expanded on that and people wanted to see more of it.

What is the secret of Fast & Furious' success?

Statham: It is down to the characters. People relate to characters they either like or don't like. The action hero was coined by Arnold (Schwarzenegger) and Sylvester Stallone, there was something about them that was relatable or their humour or there was just something about their personality. We are drawn to see these people overcome the odds.

Idris, how would you describe your character (a new addition to the franchise)?

Elba: He is a human being with an extraordinary ability. He is part machine and this part machine is designed to fight, it is designed for war. He has a big ego. In fact, his ego is what might destroy him as opposed to his machinery.

What was it like working with Statham and Johnson?

Elba: It was working with the best in their game. (They) have been in action movies for like 20 years. I was like a kid in a candy shop watching these guys do that.

Did you do your own stunts?

Elba: I did a lot of the sequence stunts myself, some of the bike stunts I did myself and that was because (director) David (Leitch) wanted to have me in the frame. We did a lot of training for fitness because he did long takes and we got in there as much as possible.

You wrote a song on your iPad during filming?

Elba: There was always set-up time in between shots... And I wrote a song that is in the movie, in the chase sequence. - REUTERS

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