Court­ney play­ing it safe

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - VICKY ROACH

DON’T ex­pect to see a mug shot of Jai Court­ney on the front page of the news­pa­per any time soon. The 28- year- old ac­tor, who grew up in the leafy north- west Syd­ney sub­urb of Cher­ry­brook, has worked far too hard and come way too far to jeop­ar­dise his ca­reer with a vi­o­lent late- night out­burst or com­pro­mis­ing pho­to­graph.

“The more ex­po­sure you get, the more sen­si­tive things be­come around your behaviour,” said Court­ney, who re­cently fin­ished film­ing the Ter­mi­na­tor re­boot Genisys with Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger and Emilia Clark.

“It’s not only how you think about the way you act, but also how that’s re­ceived. You have to watch your­self. And be care­ful. I know what’s on the line now.”

Court­ney has clearly learnt from the of­f­cam­era in­dis­cre­tions of fel­low coun­try­men such as Sam Wor­thing­ton and Rus­sell Crowe. The lat­ter di­rected Court­ney in up­com­ing his­tor­i­cal drama The Wa­ter Diviner and the up- and- comer de­scribed Crowe as the clos­est he had come to having a men­tor.

“I haven’t had a neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, re­ally, of any­one I have filmed with – es­pe­cially of that stature,” said Court­ney, who fol­lowed his break­through per­for­mance op­po­site Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher with a role as Bruce Wil­lis’ son in A Good Day To Die Hard. “But Rus­sell was par­tic­u­larly nur­tur­ing.”

With five films sched­uled for re­lease in the next year, start­ing with Joel Edger­ton’s home­grown crime drama Felony, Court­ney is mind­ing his man­ners.

Es­pe­cially since An­gelina Jolie’s World War II drama Un­bro­ken has gen­er­ated sig­nif­i­cant Os­car buzz.

And the Di­ver­gent fran­chise, in which Court­ney plays a Daunt­less fac­tion leader, comes with its own built- in fan­base.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate when peo­ple as­so­ciate some­one with an out­burst they had, or some­thing they did pub­licly. I’m sure those in­di­vid­u­als re­gret those sorts of things, but that’s re­ally just a mo­men­tary lapse,” he said, diplo­mat­i­cally.

“For me, stay­ing out of trou­ble is quite sim­ply about the fact I have a visa. I don’t want to get kicked out of the States, so I am not about to get into a bar fight for some­thing stupid. That would be id­i­otic.”

Felony, a mod­estly bud­geted crime- drama shot in and around Syd­ney’s Ma­trav­ille, is the small­est- scale project Court­ney has worked on since crack­ing Hol­ly­wood.

“It was some­thing I chased doggedly,” he said of the Edger­ton- penned screen­play about a dec­o­rated de­tec­tive who cov­ers up his role in an early morn­ing hit- and- run accident.

“Its themes are univer­sal but it’s prob­a­bly the clos­est of any film I have worked on to the world I grew up in. I guess that was part of the rea­son I was at­tracted to it. Ba­si­cally, I in­sisted I put a tape down early. I made it quite clear I was de­ter­mined to do it.”

Court­ney plays by- the- book rookie to vet­eran Bri­tish ac­tor Tom Wilkin­son’s sea­soned old­timer.

“I had been itch­ing to get home and work on some­thing and it was a re­ally in­trigu­ing story and re­ally well- writ­ten.”

FELONY Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas ( East­lands only)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.