Why Jai Courtney Wanted To Play A Villain In New Movie Honest Thief With Liam Neeson

Jai Courtney in Honest Thief

In his budding career in Hollywood, Jai Courtney has mostly played action heroes, like Jack McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard. and Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys. And while he’s also played a few complicated villains in the past, the new Liam Neeson-led thriller Honest Thief features him as a bona fide evil villain, and he recently gave us the lowdown on why he wanted to take on that kind of a role.

Most recently Jai Courtney is known for his short role as Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad, and while the character qualifies as a villain, he's not exactly what you might call downright evil. In Honest Theif Jai Courtney is making a step into a much darker place. He recently spoke with CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb, and when asked what led him to the role he said,

It’d been a minute since I played a pretty strict villain, and I guess that was a lot of what had to do with my attraction to the role. I love this kind of genre, I love seeing these movies, and Liam [Neeson] is obviously such a legend. I’ve had the opportunity to dance with some of these kind of legendary action icons before, and I guess it was kind of a chance to throw that back a little even in my short career. It was something I hadn’t done for a minute.

Other than playing Boomerang in Suicide Squad, you may recall that Jai Courtney also tangled with Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, and played the villainous character Eric in the Divergent series. Eric was particularly ruthless in his own right, but it sounds like Courtney takes that mood to a whole new level in Honest Thief.

Even though he doesn’t take on the hardcore villain role too often, Jai Courtney admitted that it’s oddly easier to do than the conflicted anti-hero. He said later in the same interview,

Weirdly, they seem to come a little more easily than the kind of dudes who are trying to do the right thing and are like caught up on the wrong side of stuff. In a weird way, it’s mostly about just having fun with these villainous characters and trying to create something that audiences have a blast with as well, and this was no exception.

You can watch Jai Courtney discuss his Honest Thief role by clicking play on the video below:

In Honest Thief, Liam Neeson plays Tom Carter, a thief who wants to come clean and pay back $9 million he stole. But when corrupt FBI agents take the money and frame him for murder, he decides to get revenge with a particular set of explosive skills. Jai Courtney plays Agent Nivens, one of the corrupt federal agents.

On top of this villainous role, Jai Courtney has been confirmed to be returning to play Captain Boomerang in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad. But, considering the body count might be kind of high in that movie, who knows if his character will make it out alive. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

As for Honest Thief, you’ll be able to see Jai Courtney’s evil Agent Nivens when the movie releases this week on October 16, 2020. For more movie news, be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

Jason Ingolfsland