CS: Do you know the Australian actor Bruce Spence?
Jai Courtney: Yeah, of course.
CS: He has this whole thing where he appears in the third part
of a bunch of franchises: Mad Max, Star Wars, Matrix, Lord of the Rings,
Chronicles of Narnia…
Courtney: You gonna give me sh*t for being in part five?
CS: Are you the part five guy now?
Courtney: I'm the part five guy. F**k, I hope not.
Don't think I haven't thought about it. Yeah, I know. It's hilarious. I
come in for the reboots and the late sequels on everything. I think this
has gotta be the last one, man! Seriously. I have had that thought. I
don't wanna speak too soon, but it's gonna be awhile before I get roped
into another franchise, I'll say that.
CS: Right, well you did A Good Day to Die Hard. How did that
prepare you for the franchise machinery of going into something like
Terminator? It's the same level of expectations.
Courtney: Yeah it is, I guess. I'll tell you what it
did: It taught me to expect nothing and everything. Look, the "Die Hard"
thing was one of those situations where… even then people had told
me--people in elevated creative positions, studio execs--I was told to
prepare to kind of blow up and life's gonna change. Everyone's gonna
know your career has taken off. Whilst it was a huge opportunity for me,
it certainly didn't go down quite like that. I think coming back around
to another thing that has an in-built fanbase you're gonna have a ton
of skepticism out there, there's gonna be people that are very critical
that are loyal to the original things. I wrestle with it because I don't
know if we need to be doing these sorts of movies. Sometimes you feel
like, "Aren't there enough original stories out there to not rehash
things?" At the same time there's so much mileage yet to explore. I
mean, this isn't a remake of another "Terminator" movie, it's a new
universe and I think what they're doing with it is really exciting.
CS: You said the other day that it's not quite a sequel or a reboot. Does that mean it kind of skews into different tangential time directions?
Courtney: It's a reset.
CS: Does it create a new timeline in the same universe the way J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie did?
Courtney: I guess that's a fair comparison, in a sense.
There's a world that's been established, but we haven't necessarily
seen those characters in that light before. I think the beauty of time
travel means you can shift a lot on a dime. Yeah man, after making it…
it was a tough film to do. It was full-on, it's a big big movie. A lot
of us worked very hard but I think it's gonna pay off and I think
audiences won't be disappointed. I'm really excited to see what happens
CS: Does the romance between Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor play a big part in it?
Courtney: I can literally tell you nothing. I'm sorry. I
don't even know if there is romance, man. Maybe the romance is between
Kyle and Arnold. (laughs) Maybe.
CS: **INSURGENT SPOILERS AHEAD** For Insurgent, does the arc of Eric coincide with the arc in the books?
Courtney: As in, "Do I die?" Yes. Yeah there's no
spoilers there 'cause it was already written in a different medium, so
I'm happy to say that. It's cool, we just wrapped on that the other
week. That was actually a lot of fun, it was a lot of fun to go back and
play a role a second time. It's the first time I've done that. Yeah, it
was cool, kind of like the way actors feel when they do TV and come
back for another season. You're comfortable, you've explored some ground
with that, you've really got the character figured out and I guess
things get written with that in mind now. You can see what worked and
you know you're cast. There's just more room to have fun with it, and I
think this film takes us out of that particular faction that we started
with in the first one. It's kind of on the road, like a big long chase
sequence, the second book. It was fun to go back and play Eric again. I
didn't realize how much I enjoyed being that cold and nasty. It's good
because he's so dead. I wrestled with that originally, but that was a
testament to Neil's vision. You can throw different shades in there, but
I was glad he pushed me to create the character the way he did 'cause
it worked the second time around. It's that subtle material, it's quite
fun to do stuff like that rather than make it so obvious.
CS: It's good that you die rather than succumb to "Jeremy Renner
syndrome," where you're in a bunch of franchise movies then they all
hit and you have to go in and do all the sequels.
Courtney: Oh f**k, yeah. I know right? No space for anything else. I got in and got out, mate. Made sure of that.