Stark contrasts

Hackford sizes up Statham vs. Lee Marvin in Parker roles

“Parker” marks the first time onscreen that Donald Westlake’s iconic anti-hero thief Richard Parker is actually called by the name used in the author’s 24 pseudonymous Richard Stark novels.

It happened “because Abby Westlake, who is in charge of her husband’s legacy, read the script and thankfully decided it was time. I really appreciated it,” said helmer Taylor Hackford before Film District’s Museum of Modern Art screening on Jan. 23.

As for how Jason Statham compares to the screen’s most notable previous Parker, Lee Marvin in “Point Blank,” Hackford declared, “Jason delivers Parker as good as anybody ever has. Lee Marvin I love, but it’s a different interpretation. There was no humor in Marvin. None. The way he played the role was a piece of stone.”

“They did it, we tried it,” Statham said of the comparison, “and there we are.”

Statham said he didn’t find time to croon a duet with songstress and leading lady Jennifer Lopez on the set. “My dad’s a singer. I might pretend I’m a good singer, but she never got to hear how bad I really was.”

Patti LuPone, who plays Lopez’s mother, also never found a chance for the two to join in song.

“It was all about acting!” she said with a laugh.

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