Wikipedia reports: While working as a model for French Connection (FCUK), he was introduced to fledgling British director Guy Ritchie who was developing a film project and needed to fill the role of a street-wise con artist.
After learning about Statham’s past as a black market salesman, Ritchie cast him to play the role of “Bacon” in his 1998 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The movie was well received by both critics and audiences, and helped catapult Statham into the public eye.
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