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DA MAN: Hi Jai, how are you doing? Where are you currently based?
Jai Courtney: Doing well. Currently based in Los Angeles.
DA MAN: You played the cruel and ruthless Eric, the leader of Dauntless, in “Divergent.” How was it like?
Jai Courtney: “Divergent” was a lot of fun to shoot. We were in Chicago for about four months. The cast was a great group, and we all got along like old friends.
DA MAN: Like old friends?
Jai Courtney: It was a fantastic ensemble to be a part of. A lot of us have become close friends and will probably remain so. It’ll be fun to get most of the gang back together for the sequel.
DA MAN: That sounds great, and the possibility for a sequel is awesome. When you first joined the cast, had you read the book first or taken any physical training for it?
Jai Courtney: I hadn’t read any of the books until I was considering taking the role. Once I realized how great the material was, I started to get excited by the possibility. Training wasn’t too intense for me on this project. I knew I had to appear intimidating, so I just hit the gym a little harder to bulk up.
“A person can’t know what happiness is without experiencing sadness. And I think that’s healthy”
DA MAN: Appearing intimidating is one thing, but how do you connect with such a character?
Jai Courtney: I think the initial reaction to the character of Eric is that he’s mean. But I had to find ways to feel compassion for him. I looked at him as a purist, a hardened young alpha male whose approach to training the initiates wasn’t necessarily kind, but he was still genuinely invested in their training and potential to become good Dauntless warriors.
DA MAN: If you could pick one memorable moment in the making of “Divergent,” what would it be?
Jai Courtney: That’s hard to pin down. The whole process was memorable. I think my favorite scene to shoot was when Eric throws Christina (played by Zoë Kravitz) over the ledge above The Chasm.
DA MAN: It’s interesting to notice that you have starred in a number of Hollywood action movies. Is it your personal intention to focus more on this particular genre?
Jai Courtney: I wouldn’t say it’s my focus, but I’ve had a lot of fun shooting films with heavy amounts of action. I like breaking that pattern from job to job, but as long as the script resonates with me well, I will always be open to do more action movies.
DA MAN: And then there’s the “Terminator: Genesis,” which will be released sometime next year. Congratulations on landing the role of Kyle Reese. First of all, how did you get the part?
Jai Courtney: Thank you! It was a pretty straightforward process. I tested for the part alongside Emilia Clarke who’s playing Sarah Connor. We had a great session with the director, Alan Taylor, for about two hours, and that was it. Fortunately, Emilia and I had great chemistry, and they offered me the part. I’m excited. It’s going to be a challenging shoot, but I can’t wait.
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