But that's not the case with the British action star's latest role in Fast & Furious 7, where he portrays main antagonist Deckard Shaw, the badass ex-black ops big brother of the baddie from the previous film, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
Even though he plays the vengeance-seeking nemesis of Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto, Statham doesn't think the character is a total heel.
Speaking to M in a separate interview, the 47-year-old said: "I'm not the bad guy - I'm not trying to steal the God's Eye (a plot device in Furious 7), I'm not blowing up the world - I'm just taking care of my brother.
"It's not revenge for me, I'm avenging my brother and doing this for him, so that doesn't make me the bad guy."
That doesn't mean that he didn't enjoy taking on the good guys in Furious 7, a film that Statham considers to be a tribute to the late Paul Walker.
Apart from squaring off with Diesel in a climactic street fight, armed with wrenches and metal rods, Statham also took on another muscleman in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who plays Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs.
While it wasn't a "grease-down and a shiatsu" facing opponents he described as "big mountains to climb", Statham relished the combat, especially when his opening fight scene results in a broken arm for Hobbs.
Statham, who broke into Hollywood with Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), said: "It feels great. I loved doing the fight sequences.
"It's great to do them with athletes who know what they're doing, but putting The Rock in hospital, that's got to feel good, right?"
Statham is likely to reprise his role in a future Fast & Furious movie, something Diesel indicated at the press conference, but Statham is open to venturing out of the action genre - maybe even a romantic comedy.
Just don't expect to see him in a superhero flick.
"I don't look good in tights, so I'm not going to be breaking down doors or running around in a silly outfit and a cape - it's (the superhero genre) just not for me," said Statham.
"I just wouldn't do that and embarrass myself!"
This article was first published on April 1, 2015.
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