perth arts festival

Flying under the radar  (3/3)

 Courtney will have the chance to reacquaint himself with his old culinary stomping grounds when he comes to Perth at the end of the year to star in Perth Theatre Company’s production, Of Mice and Men.

 “Man, I can’t wait. It might not seem like the obvious next step in my career - it was a bit of a head-scratcher for my agents - but its not always about doing bigger and bigger things. Sometimes you have to takes chances.

 “It’s going to be very refreshing for me to take a break and get back on the stage where I cut my teeth.

 “And where better to do that than the town I trained in and with the theatre company that gave me the opportunity before I had done anything else?”

 Courtney is referring to his role in PTC’s adaptation of Tim Winston’s The Turning which was staged for the Perth International Arts Festival in 2008. The show was poorly received but everyone agreed that Courtney was a stand-out in the role doomed misfit Boner McPharlin.

 PTC artistic director Melissa Cantwell was the associate director on that production and she and Courtney have long shared a strong bond, so much so he spent several weeks sleeping on her couch before the big bucks started rolling in.

 It was during this period that the pair plotted working together again. The play they settled on was Of Mice and Men, the stage version of Steinbeck’s 1937 novel about two displaced ranch hands moving from place to place looking for work in California during the Great Depression.

 “It’s a great text. It has been adapted almost verbatim from the book and I am really looking forward to doing it. I haven’t been on stage for years so it will be a challenge. To tell you the truth I’m kind of terrified,” he laughs.

 Before Courtney comes to Perth later this year to rehearse and perform in Of Mice and Men he will finish work on Suicide Squad, in which he plays the only significant Australian comic book character, the super-villain Captain Boomerang.

 Courtney says that making this hugely anticipated certain smash is one of the best experiences of his career. “It’s and incredible cast and we have become real family,” he says.

 “It’s not every time that you step on to a film and realize you are making something special, and really mean that. It’s marriage of the work you’re doing and who you are making it with. it starts from the top and trickles down.

 “David Ayer is terrific director and he has set a wonderful uneasy tone which requires us to bleed for the project.”

Credit: soullesslittledragon