The upcoming “Terminator Genisys” features several key casting changes with Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney taking over the roles of Sarah Connor, John Connor and Kyle Reese respectively.
Courtney has been doing the press rounds for the opening of “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” this week. Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, the actor surprisingly revealed that he hasn’t carefully studied Michael Biehn’s performance as Kyle Reese in the original “The Terminator” film as he sees little interest or reward in that approach:
“To be honest … I don’t pay any attention, really, to how the role has been played before. I might watch [previous works] for a point of reference as far as the world or the style [and] genre of filmmaking, but I [have been] asked if I studied Michael Biehn’s performance [as Kyle Reese] in the first Terminator and I’d be crazy to go and do that. It’s not going to translate, and I wasn’t hired for the job to emulate someone else’s performance. It’s a standalone film and the character’s changed. The writing’s changed.
It’s not to say we abandoned all the setup. He’s still a soldier in John Connor’s army fighting the resistance, and he still has the task of saving Sarah Connor, but that’s virtually all that links the two. I just can’t see it being interesting as a performer nor it being interesting for the audience if I was trying to go in there and just steal things from someone who’d played that role already. I think there’s archetypal similarities you’ll get with doing a role like that, and you can pluck influence from other actors or other performances, but it certainly wasn’t a concern of mine to try and hit specific things.
If you’re talking about a biographical figure it’s different. We know certain things about certain people in history that define them. But I think there was enough in the writing and enough in the character brief that provided the actors in Terminator to kind of go with that, but then completely make it their own.”
How well fans will respond to Courtney’s portrayal of the role, we’ll have to wait until the release of “Terminator Genisys” on July 1st.