WAAPA graduate has roles to die for

Nobody who saw Jai Courtney in Perth Theatre Company's 2008 production of The Turning would have immediately thought, "That guy's going to play Bruce Willis' son in a Die Hard movie".

The WA Academy of Performing Arts graduate was the stand-out in the ensemble cast and seemed destined for a brilliant stage career later to be snapped up by movies, a la Geoffrey Rush.

But the brawny one-time rugby league prospect took another route, heading to the US and landing the role of the bad guy in the Tom Cruise action film Jack Reacher and now playing the bruising CIA agent son of Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard.

The 26-year-old is appreciative of his time at WAAPA but he does not believe it fully prepares an actor for what they will face in the real world.

"I loved my time at WAAPA and I still rely on what I learnt, whether conscious or unconscious," Courtney said.

"It is the foundation of your craft. But it doesn't prepare you for the industry. It can't. You really can't map it out."