‘The Transporter,’ gay action hero?

Nov. 29, 2008 | 12:17 a.m.


Chris Lee writes about film and pop culture for the Los Angeles Times and he sent over this, uh, unexpected take on “Transporter 3,” the action film that opened Wednesday. We may never watch the fire hose scene quite the same way…

Alas, the Transporter is gay no more.

In the trailer for “Transporter 3,” Jason Statham (in character as the tactiturn commando-turned-courier Frank Martin) is very clearly seen making out with sexy costar Natalya Rudakova –- a stunning development for anyone intimately acquainted with the car-chase-crazy, karate-tastic French-financed action franchise.

In 2005, Louis Leterrier, the director of “Transporter 2” (and also credited as “artistic director” of the first “Transporter”) told me he created a gay subtext for the character so as to avoid making a “Steven Seagal kind of movie.”

“If you watch the movie and you know he’s gay, it becomes so much more fun,” Leterrier said then. “It’s so great — the first gay action movie hero!” He continued: “Action fans in general are pretty homophobic. You see these tough guys who say, ‘ “The Transporter,” that’s such a great movie!’ If they only knew they’re really cheering for a new kind of action hero.”

Jason_sthamAnd to drive his point home, he mentioned a scene in “Transporter 2” in which a drug czar’s wife, played by Amber Valletta, makes romantic overtures toward the Transporter. Martin rebuffs her, explaining, “It’s because of who I am.”

Letterrier’s take on that? “That’s him coming out!”

At the time, Jason Statham, who plays the Transporter, dismissed the director’s claims.

“It’s just Lou-Lou trying to be funny,” Statham said, using his private nickname for Leterrier. “Although he did say, ‘In Part 2, you will become the gay icon.’”

I e-mailed Leterrier a few days ago to get his take on “Transporter 3” and director Olivier Megaton’s choice to make the character heterosexual. “Haha, I haven’t seen it. I can’t wait,” Leterrier wrote back. But wasn’t he just a little disappointed Megaton had changed the character’s sexual orientation? Leterrier seemed to back off the gay Transporter theme he embraced three years ago.

“I was sick over the weekend and my 2 Transporters were on, so I watched them and in fact they aren’t that gay,” Leterrier wrote. “But it makes for fun movie legends.”

— Chris Lee


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17 Responses to ‘The Transporter,’ gay action hero?

  1. Ger says:

    Doe gay mean happy OR homosexual for this action hero? Or happy homosexual?

  2. Cyber Monday says:

    Awesome sub text, let's hope the straight jocks who love this film don't find out!

  3. Josh Khani says:

    that was LAME! its like saying. "my kids love broccoli i just chop it so fine they cant see it" he's not a GAY action hero because no one Knows he's gay. this is a lame attempt to get gay people to connect with the character and i find it insulting.

  4. MRadclyffe says:

    Gay? What was that scene in the 1st movie where he's shagging the blonde in the market all abot then?

  5. Kevin Stein says:

    MRadclyffe is mixing up his movies. The one he's talking about was not a transporter movie.

  6. Harosa says:

    Doesn't he sleep with Shu Qi in the first film? Why couldnt him not sleeping with the woman in pt.2 just be because she's married and distressed and he has some kind of code against that?

  7. johnniebgoode says:

    i love it…just like in the 70's when all the …ahem…straight guys went ape for the who ..or queen…or elton john…….slap them…slap them silly..hee hee hee

  8. johnniebgoode says:

    loving it…reminds me of the 70's when all the "straight" dudes were gaga for the who, elton john, queen, boy george…ok well maybe not boy george…leotards, tight spandex,matching gloves and boots and a cape…all the action heroes had tendecies…i think the teletubbies had something to do with it….peace-out

  9. minkowski says:

    Superheroes are not generally gay, moron. They are drawn that way for the obvious reason: because they are uber-masculine, not because they are effeminate. The artists wanted to emphasize the characters musculature so as to portray them as physically superior. Get that? You've read comic book depictions entirely backwards. Batman and Superman have never been depicted as anything but heterosexual. Again: moron.

  10. JenBee says:

    Hello! Did everyone forget the first Transporter movie? The original, the only good one (lol) he was so not gay in that one and he got with the ever so hot Asian damsel in distress Lai (played by bombshell Shu Qi). What ever happened to her character anyway? Even if the actress who played her did not want to par take in the other 2 movies, the viewers should get some answers. Well i want some answers to where she went … it was like the first Transporter movie was a completely different movie from the 2nd and 3rd one. Like it was it's own entity, i hope there's no "Transporter 4" it's already f*cked up there's no way they can recover from 2 bad sequel. (this is MY opinion so don't get mad at what i have to say)

  11. Johnny says:

    uhhmmm, how the hell can he be gay? he slept with the asain lady in the first Transporter film…

  12. Alex says:

    Frank Martin's obviously NOT gay, since he sleep with his female leads in both The Transporter AND Transporter 3.
    Clearly, Louis Leterrier is projecting his OWN sexual hangups on The Transporter, much like Joel Schumacher did when he directed the horrendous Batman films in the 1990s, putting the infamous Bat-Nipples on Batman's costume and camping up the franchise. Unfortunately for Louis, the facts shown in the Transporter films (as well as Frank's own statements when asked directly) completely refute Leterrier's ridiculous claims.

  13. Kara says:

    I don't know about Leterrier, but when Frank Martin refuses to make out with the girl in Transporter 2, and then keeps hanging out with an older man who cooks, keeps house and wears Hawaiian shirts, well… yeah. I thought it was pretty clear, too.
    Buuu to Trans3 for switching Frank back. At least they could've made him bi!

  14. Frank Martonline says:

    In Australia I Just Got Back From Watching The Transporter 3 In Cinemas And Well Remember That Scene When Valintena Wanted To Sleep With Frank And After Frank Said No Valentina Said You Gay Then Frank Said No I Am Not Gay Im Just No In The Mood

  15. Xavs says:

    I like Transporter movies a lot, and I'm afraid that I didn't 'read' that subtext in the second movie; to me he was acting just like a true gentleman would do, not taking advantage of a woman in distress. And the "It's because of who I am" meant to me 'I have a code of honor'. I guess that was for the best, leaving it that way.

  16. Johnny says:

    Thank you for this, appriciated!


    תיירות גאה

  17. I do accept as true with all the ideas you have offered on your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for starters. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

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