I'm Australian. I'm an actor. I've been in the business since 2008. Excited about the film Felony in which I play a young detective in the Sydney police force. It's opening October 16 (more info here: https://www.facebook.com/FelonyFilm).

Some of my other upcoming projects: Unbroken is coming out at Christmas, Insurgent is coming out next March, and I just wrapped on Terminator: Genisys.

Here at reddit NY, excited to take your questions. AMA.


EDIT: I wish I didn't have to go, but thanks all for your questions, sorry if I didn't get to yours. Hopefully get to do this again sometime soon. In the meantime, go check out Felony, comes out Oct 16. Thanks again. - Jai

Comments: 140 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

DornishWhine12 karma

I really loved your work on Spartacus. What are your favourite memories of Andy Whitfield?

JaiCourtney16 karma

We just had so much fun on set. We joked around a ton. We were really good friends. I have a lot of great memories.

ErnestGibbons12 karma

Hi Mr Courtney

If Varro hadn't been killed do you think he would have joined up with Spartacus in his rebellion, given that although he was enslaved, he was a roman and would be killing romans?

His death was probably one of the most shocking I've seen on television, completely unexpected and brilliant acting from you and Andy.

Can't wait to see you and Arnold in the new Terminator by the way!

JaiCourtney11 karma

Yes, I'm sure he would have.

muvdu8 karma

Jack Reacher looked great and was well acted. Do you think it will come out in 8k?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I have no idea!

theArnoldFans15 karma

When do you start filming the next two TERMINATOR films and will /u/GovSchwarzenegger be in the sequels on some capacity? Can there be a successful Terminator film without Arnold?

JaiCourtney6 karma

Hard to imagine a Terminator film without Arnold. I guess we start filming - I think the plan is do the next 2 back to back in 2016.

Wake_up_screaming5 karma

I am really looking forward to Terminator Genisys, but like many other fans I am concerned with the track record of the Terminator films that did not have James Cameron at the helm. In other words, I don't want to get hurt again.

What reasons can you give us that this film will be amazing? I'm hoping for a non-generic answer but also respect that you can't provide too many details.

Your answer is very important to Terminator fans everywhere. We could use a little bit of reassurance!

JaiCourtney3 karma

I can assure Terminator fans that they'll be excited by this film. It's much more of a throwback to the first 2 movies. And has some - the cast are great, Arnold's back, and the scope of the story really takes things in a cool new direction.

You won't be disappointed.

theArnoldFans14 karma

Jai, You just finished working with Schwarzenegger on Terminator Genisys...so what's your best Arnold story and was it challenging to interact with those endoskeleton FX creations throughout filming? /u/GovSchwarzenegger

JaiCourtney5 karma

I don't know about my best Arnold story. But...the endoskeletons were funny, because they were really just guys in mo-cap suits running around.

GrandMasterT4 karma

Has Arnold taken you for a ride in his tank yet?

JaiCourtney6 karma

Heh! No. But I must remember to ask him.

warriorbianca3 karma

Hey Jai! If you had the possibility to make your own movie, what would it be about, which role would you be playing in it and which actors would want as your co-stars? X Bianca

JaiCourtney13 karma


Um... one day I want to make a film about the building of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. And I'd give all my very talented actor friends who aren't working jobs. We'd have to figure out the story for this, I'd play the role of the bridge.

The_Iceman22883 karma

Did you get to work with Matt Smith on Terminator?

JaiCourtney5 karma

Can't tell you. I really can't.

JaiCourtney8 karma

But he's a lovely guy.

jonemillard2 karma

What has been your oddest fan encounter?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I mean, things haven't gotten that odd yet. But maybe if we go to Comic-Con with Terminator next year, things have the potential to get strange.

dabisnit2 karma

I loved your character Varro from Spartacus. I was incredibly sad when your character was killed. What was your favorite part of playing in the show Spartacus?

JaiCourtney6 karma

My favourite part of playing him: getting my hair dyed every week (that's a joke).

ahan822 karma

What is the best prank you have seen while filming?

JaiCourtney6 karma

One of the crew members on Jack Reacher hid a walkie-talkie on a desk and in a very quiet scene, between Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, they started ordering coffees over the walkie-talkie. Actually, Tom was great about it - there was a moment when we all froze and thought he would explode, but he kept his cool. And then we all cracked up laughing.

WhatDoesYourHeadSay2 karma

Congrats on your career so far, man. 9 years ago did you ever think you'd come this far already. Don't mean to sound patrionizing, it just seems you've exploded in the past couple years. Can you tell us some stories about working with greats like Bruce Willis and/or Tom Cruise? Have you studied any martial arts that have helped with some of your fighting scenes? Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Best of luck on all your future endeavors.

JaiCourtney2 karma

Thanks. No, it's crazy how fast thing have happened, but also amazing how quickly you get used to it. I always wanted to be a part of great feature films, and so in a way, it feels normal to be where I am. Some stories: I've got a lot of stories, probably too many to list, but it's been fabulous working with guys like Tom or Bruce. Training for the fight with Tom in Jack Reacher was awesome because it was my first big job and I was terrified that I was going to forget a beat and hit him for real. Fortunately it was the other way 'round, where there was one time we were shooting that and I copped one on the chin, but he was very quick to make it clear that was an accident.

thegillinator2 karma

What kind of balance is there between comedic moments in Genisys, hard core action, and drama?

JaiCourtney2 karma

I think the balance is just right, I mean it's obviously going to be an action / scifi film, but the script has a lot of light moments and some heartfelt stuff as well. I can't wait for you guys to see it.

ohherroeeyore2 karma

What underwater creature are you most afraid of?

JaiCourtney5 karma

A fucking giant octopus. I was actually in the ocean once, and I saw a shark not too far away, and I was on that beach quicker than I could say "SHARK!" It was fucking terrifying. True story. I freaked out the other day, I was surfing in San Diego, and I saw a fin, and then it turned out to be a pod of dolphins, and they came and played like 3 meters away from me. It was incredibly. It was like, really wonderful. I was frightened at first, and then it was like once-in-a-lifetime shit.

seismicor2 karma

Hello. What's your favourite Terminator movie and why? How would you sort them From best to worst?

JaiCourtney4 karma

Hehehe! My favourite is Terminator 2. I think because I kind of grew up on it. I've probably seen it 100 times. Best to worst, I dunno. Let's hope the one we just made is at the top of the list for "Best."

warriorbianca2 karma

What kind of music do you like and which concert will you never forget?

JaiCourtney6 karma


I like a lot of different kinds of music. But I'm going to say that I'll never forget- I think it would be- I've seen a lot of great live shows, it's very hard. I think my first Foo Fighters concert, because I had to crowd surf out of the moshpit and vomited in front of Dave Grohl. True story.

marie_olson2 karma

Where are you most ticklish? :)

JaiCourtney2 karma

I'm not ticklish at all.


Hey Jai Courtney! Just wanted to start off by saying as a fellow Sydney-sider a good old goodmorning from Sydney at 4 am

  • What was it like working with Bruce Willis on Die Hard: A Good Day to Die Hard?

  • How'd you get into acting?

  • Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming project Terminator: Genisys?

Thank you for this opportunity, on behalf of this AMA I'd like to commend you on your amazing talents and wish you luck on your current and future projects mate

JaiCourtney1 karma

It was a lot of fun. Good morning, thanks for getting up so early. It was great working with Bruce, hopefully get to do it again sometime.

I was just in it for ages. I got into it in high school, and then when I left high school, I had very little options as far as things I wanted to pursue, so I decided to - I auditioned and went to drama school for 3 years and then decided to try and make a career out of it.

Sadly, not really. But I know you'll enjoy it. Be patient.

seismicor2 karma

Is the new Terminator a horror movie like the first one?

JaiCourtney5 karma

No, I wouldn't describe the first Terminator as a horror movie either, but I dunno. Maybe if you thought that was a horror movie, then this one will scare you too!

beernerd2 karma

What's the worst advice anyone ever gave you?

JaiCourtney3 karma


Um, I try not to remember bad advice. Nothing comes to mind.

robinsky12 karma

Can you describe your experience on filming Terminator : Genisys, so far?

JaiCourtney1 karma

It's been a lot of fun, exhausting. I had to train really hard. But we're finished now, and I'm really excited about it.

lmi62 karma

Hi, Jai! Thanks for doing this AMA. What's something people might be surprised to know about you? Also, what was your favorite scene to film for Divergent?

JaiCourtney2 karma

I'm a very good cook.

Favorite scene to film... in Divergent, it was pushing Christina off the bridge, and for Insurgent, I don't want to spoil it.

unicorn10-102 karma

What's your favorite animal?

JaiCourtney2 karma

My favourite animal is... I dunno, I like lions.

Surkrit2 karma

Hello Jai! You have worked with a couple of famous 80/90 action stars so far in your career. Any other actors you would love to work with?

JaiCourtney3 karma

Yeah, I mean, of course there's a million other actors I'd love to work with. I wouldn't know where to begin. I've been pretty lucky in that sense. I've enjoyed working with Angelina Jolie as a director, but it'd be great to work with her onscreen.

shivan211 karma

Do you watch Game of Thrones? Do you like it?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I do watch Game of Thrones, and I do like it.

shivan211 karma

How was Bruce Willis during the Die Hard?

JaiCourtney1 karma


Sakura_71 karma

Who's your favorite superhero?

JaiCourtney1 karma

There's too many to choose from! I think Batman's got the coolest gadgets, so let's go with him.

theArnoldFans11 karma

Jai, have you had your face scanned for future Terminator action figure merch...and based on the material you saw of violence and profanity, would you guess this is a PG-13 movie or rated R? Did you get to have some fun with fantastic movie violence and F-bombs in Terminator?

JaiCourtney1 karma

I hope we get an action figure! It's a dream of mine. It would be awesome. I had my face scanned for visual FX, I dunno if they're going to use it to make an action figure, I certainly hope so.

I would love to see it be rated R, but I don't think it will. I think in this day & age, it's much more likely to be PG-13.

There were no f-bombs. But there'll be a healthy amount of movie violence.

judomonkeykyle1 karma

Other than the Terminator franchise, what is your all time favorite Arnold movie?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I think it would be TRUE LIES.

shivan211 karma

Have you read Divergent book? How is it different from your view?

JaiCourtney2 karma

Well, I read the book. It was much more focused on setting things up, versus the screenplay which focused on action.

robinsky11 karma

Did you get any tips from Michael Biehn to play Kyle Reese or did you decide to portray Kyle Reese in your own vision?

JaiCourtney1 karma

I didn't get any tips. Definitely decided to play Kyle with my own interpretation of the character.

Skippy88981 karma

I watching I, Frankenstein the other night and was very impressed with your acting.

Since you got into the movie business what is one thing that has surprised you the most?

JaiCourtney2 karma

Good question. Probably how much time you sit around on a movie set. It can take forever to get things done.

tweetfie1 karma

Hi Jai! If you had to choose one type of food and you had to eat it for the rest of your life, what would it be? :) Love from Belgium!

JaiCourtney2 karma

Pepperoni Pizza!

theArnoldFans11 karma

Halloween is coming...what are some of your greatest or most ridiculous Halloween costumes from the past...and what's your Halloween plan this year?

JaiCourtney2 karma

My god!

I haven't thought about it at all.

We don't really do it back home... I don't think I've ever done Halloween properly. It's like, not a thing in Australia. We do it but it's not a big deal. Once when I was a kid, I shoved some BMX handlebars under my shirt and my shoulders and pretended to be a hunchback. We weren't very creative. I was dressing up all the time anyways, Halloween was just another day.

TheEmeraldKnight1 karma

You and Tom Cruise had an epic fight scene in Jack Reacher, and since he was the title character we all know how the fight turned out. If you and Tom got into an actual fight, who would win?

JaiCourtney6 karma

Who do you think?

theArnoldFans11 karma

How do you stay in shape? Do you often PUMP IRON and who are your FITNESS role models?

JaiCourtney1 karma

Um, I try and change my workout up a lot, because i get bored really easily. I don't pump a lot of iron. But that's a great documentary. Mr. Schwarzenegger...

LordNedStark1 karma

Who personifies success?

What book would you give your 22 year old self?

What does the first hour of your days look like?

JaiCourtney1 karma

Paul McCartney.

I probably haven't finished the book I started at 22 yet!


shivan211 karma

Does Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor have any resemblance of GoT's Khaleesi?

JaiCourtney3 karma

They're both played by the same actress, there's bound to be some similarities. The hair color is different.

god_of_madness1 karma

If you could be a pizza, what kind of pizza you would be?

JaiCourtney1 karma

Pepperoni. It's the only kind of pizza.

MiyaPerez1 karma

First off, You're an amazing actor and thank you for taking the time out to do this! What role would you love to play but haven't yet?

JaiCourtney1 karma

I like to play music in my spare time, so it would be cool to incorporate that one day.

Penn_Penn1 karma

Hey Jai, so cool to have you here. I am a big fan of your work and have some random questions!

What's it like playing a bad guy (ie Insurgent/Divergent)? Do you and other actors sometimes laugh after a take? Or do you stay focused on being that character? How hard is it to go back to being that way? Do you ever apologize for being a little too mean after a take? How does it feel to be apart of the newest big trilogy series?

Also you're damned dashing!

JaiCourtney2 karma

It's a lot of fun. But sometimes a little confronting, I don't always agree with the things my character has to do.

Always, we laugh all the time.

I stay focused because it's my job. It was easy the second time 'round because we'd established so much in the first film, and actually it gave us the chance to have more fun with our characters.

Not usually, but there was one scene in INSURGENT that involved a child, and yeah, I made sure she didn't think I was as scary as i was pretending to be.

Great! Thank you very much!

warriorbianca1 karma

What's your guilty pleasure? X B

JaiCourtney1 karma

Pizza and peanut M&Ms.

tweetfie1 karma

I know you have to work out a lot for the roles you play, but my question is: is working out something you enjoy or is it just something you have to do because it's part of the job?

JaiCourtney1 karma

I do enjoy it, but I also have the capability to be quite lazy when I don't need to do it. I try to balance the two.

seismicor1 karma

When was it the first time you watched the Terminator and what was the experience like for you?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I don't recall the exact time, but I watched Terminator 2 a bunch when I was a kid. On VHS. It was cool.

seismicor1 karma

Can you recall any funny story involving Arnold?

JaiCourtney4 karma

Funny Arnold stories... he has a collection of great belt buckles. He would wear a different one every day, yeah.

seismicor1 karma

What is your opinion on the Genysis name? Was it a good idea to change it from Genesis?

JaiCourtney4 karma

I can't really talk about that without getting into spoilers that would get me in trouble.

Ladydevilof061 karma

Hey there!! For the love of God please tell me there are going to me more Die Hard movies with you in it haha! Would that ever be a possibility? If someone has already asked this than please forgive me lol :3 I just got on lunch and catching up! Love you by the way!

JaiCourtney3 karma

There might, I have no idea when, but yes, that would be a lot of fun.