With “Terminator: Genisys,” Jai Courtney steps into a franchise universe full of humans hopping through time to avert the rise of Skynet, artificial intelligence that goes online and promptly tries to destroy humanity. But is A.I. really going to be such a bad thing?
Most pop culture depictions of the singularity assume that it’s going to be bad. What if things actually work out?
Well, I’m sure there will be a grace period where it is great. I don’t know, I don’t get too existential. I don’t know that we’re going to have a robot apocalypse, but I do like the fact that the threat is closer now. But yeah, man, I welcome artificial intelligence. Hey dude, if I could talk to a guy in this room that was made completely artificially and he had a thinking brain, I’d want to have that conversation. I want to see that happen in my lifetime, for sure.
If there were to be a robot apocalypse, how do you think you would fare?
I reckon I’d be good for a bit, and then when times got really tough I’d probably be f—ed. I’m an actor first and foremost. I could probably fool my way through a little bit of survival, but when boys have to become men I think someone would get the better of me. I don’t think it would be too long before we reached a point where my skills would be deemed worthless.
Doing a movie with this much time travel and jumping around, how do you wrap you head around it? Did they give you a map?
They didn’t give us a map. That would’ve been very helpful. You ask the smart people around you that wrote the thing and are driving it creatively what the hell’s going on. (laughs) Those sort of concepts are hard off the page for a person like me. Reading how that works doesn’t make as much sense without the visual storytelling, so yeah, I definitely found it confusing at first.
“Terminator” movies of course involve time-traveling while naked, and your character gets to do it in front of a room full of people. Were you worried about that part of the job?
They’re the least things you worry about when something like this comes along. I wasn’t worried at all. You know it’s going to be a bit of a challenge and that’s fine, and there’s going to be some sensitivity around it. But it wasn’t the first time. I hope I don’t have to keep this trend, but my very first job I had my clothes off in. I’ve done other shows where it’s been demanded of me. So, you know, s— happens.
In planning a modern acting career, how much do you factor in the time commitment of doing a franchise?
I’m all good for franchises now, I think. “Divergent” has moved on, which is good. I don’t think I got glued into that too heavily, and I’m out of there now. With “Suicide Squad” happening, I’d be lying if I said that hadn’t crossed my mind with perhaps what the next two years hold. It would be nice to take some time off a little bit. I don’t know if I’ll be afforded that luxury. You want time to digest the project you’ve worked on and prep for the next. The top of this year I had two months to prep for “Suicide Squad.” It was such a luxury. There is a danger in going back to back to back. You can burn yourself out.
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