Action star Jason Statham has shared his concern for “selfless” stuntman Joe Watts, who was seriously injured on the Fast & Furious set.
The actor paid tribute to the bravery of stuntmen, who he called his “best mate” in the film industry.
Statham, who stars in spin-off Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, is well-versed in the dangers of the action genre and has wished a speedy recovery to Mr Watts who was injured on-set in Hertfordshire.
The professional was flown to hospital with a serious head injury following a reported fall at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden on Monday, where filming was halted on Fast & Furious 9.
Statham paid tribute to the selflessness of the specialists in danger, and expressed his sadness at the news of the serious injury.
Speaking at the premiere of Hobbs & Shaw in London, he told PA: “It’s a very, very concerning thing when someone gets hurt. The families have to endure that difficulty.
“It’s awful. We have to try as best we can to try and mitigate those things.
“It’s absolutely awful news, and we just wish him the best.”
He added: “They are really the unsung heroes. They are the ones that put themselves in harm’s way to make other people look good.
“It’s a real selfless act.”
Statham, who has starred in numerous action roles throughout his career, said the professionals who risk their safety in stunts are his best friends on set.
He said: “Stuntmen have always been my firm favourite on any movie set. I’ve worked closely with them for many years.
“I have to hone these action moments and fight sequences, hand-to-hand combat. We train all the time.
“I’m more at home in the company of stuntmen than any other department. These are my close pals.
“They are really uncelebrated, and it’s a real shame because they are incredibly skilled.
“It should be recognised. They are incredibly talented.”
Statham stars in his latest action role alongside Idris Elba, Dwayne Johnson, and Dame Helen Mirren.
Mr Watts was injured in a reported fall on Monday and was flown by air ambulance to hospital, where he was treated for a serious head injury. Production was halted following the incident.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “An ambulance, three ambulance officer vehicles and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance were called to Leavesden Studios shortly before midday today (July 22), following reports of a man injured in a fall.
“One patient with a serious head injury was transported to the Royal London Hospital by air ambulance.”
Police handed the case over to the Health and Safety Executive, which says it is investigating the incident.
A spokesman for the executive said: “HSE is investigating the incident following attendance at the site yesterday.”