Jai Courtney Talks 'Terminator: Genisys' Sequels, Nude Scenes & Playing 'The Good Guy'

Of all the characters to be a part of James Cameron's classic first two Terminator movies, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is one of the most iconic. Though he was only in the first movie, his role in the franchise was a substantial one, as he protected a young Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and trained her so she could prepare her son John to be the leader of humanity in the future. Through his fearlessness and determination, Reese displayed tenacity and courage, sacrificing himself so Sarah could go on and eventually stop Judgment Day from happening. Simply put, he is a crucial part of the Terminator mythos.

In director Alan Taylor's reboot, Terminator: Genisys, that responsibility falls on Australian actor Jai Courtney, who initially embarks on the same mission as Biehn's Reese (protect Sarah Connor), only to find that the circumstances have changed drastically when compared to what he was expecting. Krisily Kennedy recently spoke with Courtney on behalf of Screen Rant to discuss him playing one of the movie's heroes, working with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his participation in the possible sequels.

You’ve played your fair share of bad guys. But in this one we get to see you not be a bad guy. Which is more fun to play?

A bad guy. I think so. I would normally kind of dance around that, but when you can be sort of unforgivingly nasty, it’s fun. It’s tougher to play a good guy.

For you or in general?

For me, because it’s further away from who I am as a person.

I like that. Well, I follow you on Instagram, so I know you like to put out the bad boy image…

I’m a piece of shit. Yeah. That’s me.

I like that, though, because now I get to see you be a good guy. So it’s like I get the best of both worlds.

What about my Instagram is so bad boy?

Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese in 'Terminator Genisys'
Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese in 'Terminator Genisys'

I’m just saying. We got the bad boy vibe coming from your Instagram.

Is that what’s going on?

Yeah, definitely. For sure.


I do have to ask about working with Arnold.

It was fantastic. [in Arnold’s accent] “It was fantastic!”

I can’t do it.

That was your next question, though, was to give me  a line?

No. it wasn’t my next question…

It wasn’t? Oh, good, because this isn’t a generic interview.

It’s super generic! No. My next question was being naked with Amelia.

What about it?

Jai Courtney in Terminator Genisys

I mean how was it? It’s got to be nerve-racking any way, shape, or form when you’re naked in front of an actor or an actress.

It is a little, yeah. I’ve been an exhibitionist since I was like yay high. So it’s never really bothered me too much. But of course you have to respect certain things. you’ve got to be sensitive around that stuff. And, you know, it’s like you’re shooting an action movie. You can endanger things fairly easily if you sit on the wrong piece of set dressing.

But our assistant director, Phil Patterson, would get naked as well every day that we had to, out of like solidarity, which was good. So it’s pretty amusing, because we all went up…like we’re nude, but I’ll have this weird little pouch glued over my penis, and she’ll have like little sticky things on her nipples. You end up looking more ridiculous than if you just had your gear.

Yeah. If you were just all out. I have to ask about the sequels because we’re talking about them. They’re coming. Do you want to be a part of it? Are you going to be a part of it?

If they make them and I’m not, I’ll be pretty upset.

Then we’ll really see the bad boy come out, won’t we?

Yeah. I don’t know. Look. That stuff’s a long way away. I know there are people who know exactly where they want this to go from a narrative point of view. But yeah, look. Who knows? We’ll wait and see. And if we’re back doing this soon, then I’ll be stoked.

Sarah Connor, Pops and Kyle Reese in Terminator Genisys

The fans are super loyal to this franchise. What do you think they are going to love about this new edition?

I think the nods to the early movies. There’s some cheeky little recreations, like shot for shot stuff of a couple little sequences which I think fans will get a kick out of. Also, the way we kind of destroy everything that they know about it at the same time and that’s the direction we’re taking it in. there’s some stuff that I think…there’s choices that, perhaps, are sacrilege within this, but I think it provides potential for really sort of juicy plot from this point on.

Thank you so much.

Thank you. My pleasure.

Have a good day!


Terminator: Genisys is now playing in theaters.

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