Keeping up with daddy: Junior McClane

Cast members Jai Courtney (R) and Bruce Willis meet with fans to celebrate the opening of their new film "A Good Day To Die Hard" in New York. (Reuters)

Playing the son of an iconic character in a popular film series is never easy, as the actor is then entrusted with the responsibility of carrying forward the legacy of the franchise. Actor Jai Courtney faced the same predicament when he signed on to play Jack McClane, son of John McClane — the famous character played by actor Bruce Willis in the Die Hard series — in the latest installment of the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, that releases today.

The 26-year-old Jai, who has starred in the hit TV show Spartacus and the film Jack Reacher, talks about his role, working with Bruce and more.

What is your role like?
Jack is in the middle of a sting, there’s a deal going on between some corrupt officials in the Russian government and we can track the story back to Chernobyl and some criminal dealings that happened with weapons-grade uranium. It centres on greed and corruption and the CIA’s attempt to prevent a disastrous event from occuring. And John shows up in the middle of that, trying to get Jack out of trouble.

In the film, is Jack like his dad?
They are vastly different, but also very similar. I think Jack thinks of himself as a very different person, but he’s really just a chip off the old block.

How was it like working with Bruce Willis?
There’s that initial thought of ‘This is Bruce Willis!’ You just try to be respectful. It would probably have been a disaster had I totally got wound up and been star-struck. But we had a ball. Bruce is a lovely and funny guy.


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