Jason Statham is thankful for the “unsung heroes” of action films.
The Hobbs & Shaw actor, 51, spoke to Extra about stuntman Joe Watts’ head injury on the set of the upcoming Fast & Furious 9. Watts was reportedly injured on Monday after falling about 30 feet while on set in England and is now in an “induced coma,” according to multiple outlets.
Statham, who is familiar with stunts in movies such as The Transporter and most recently the Fast & Furious spinoff film, Hobbs & Shaw, said the accident “is awful.”
“It’s an unpredictable science,” he told Extra of performing stunts in films. “You do every measure that you can eliminate these things from happening. It’s just a real shame that accidents happen. It’s awful for the families when someone gets really hurt.”
Statham continued, “On set, the stunt people are and have been for my whole career the best relationships I have and the most fun I have ever had on a set, always with the stunt guys.”
“I feel they are the unsung heroes in some ways,” he added. “They put themselves out there to make other people look good without anything back.”
Watts’ injury reportedly occurred after he jumped from a balcony while attached to a safety wire, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A source told The Sun that Vin Diesel was present when the incident occurred, saying, “Vin Diesel was seen on set seconds after. He looked ashen, totally in shock and blinking back tears. He saw what happened.”
Watts has worked on films including Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. He was also a stunt performer in two episodes of the last season of Game of Thrones.
Following the accident, production on the film was halted.
“We had an injury on the set of Fast 9 today in Leavesden with one of our stuntmen,” a spokesperson from Universal, the studio behind the franchise, told PEOPLE. “We have halted production for the day to focus on this situation.”
The latest installment to the franchise will star Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, both of whom are reprising their roles as Dom Toretto and Letty Ortiz.
Jordana Brewster is also set to return as Mia Toretto, Dom’s sister, as well as Tyrese Gibson in the role of Roman Pearce. John Cena will also be joining the franchise, although his role in the film is being kept under wraps.
Fast & Furious 9 is slated for release May 2020. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opens Aug. 2.