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Why Cam From Stateless Looks So Familiar

The new Netflix limited series Stateless is an ensemble effort that examines Australia's immigration system. Much of the action centers on an immigrant detention center in the middle of the Outback, and the people interred there. However, the show also endeavors to demonstrate how the country's immigration policies affect every segment of society. One of its most engaging characters is everyman Cam Sandford, who takes a job at the detention center in order to improve life for his wife and children. However, the longer Cam works at the center, the harder it becomes for him to hold onto his humanity.

Cam is played by Australian actor Jai Courtney. While he may not be as recognizable as Cate Blanchett, who co-created the series and appears in a supporting role, he has made a name for himself thanks to roles on high-profile TV series and in a handful of action films. If you got that "Where do I know this guy from?" feeling while watching Courtney on Stateless, we'll help you out by breaking down some of his best-known roles.

Jai Courtney forged his career in the arena on Spartacus: Blood and Sand

One of the first roles to garner Courtney international attention was in the historical drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which ran on premium cabler STARZ. The series follows a fictionalized version of the famous rebel slave (Andy Whitfield) from the beginning of his career as a gladiator. Courtney plays Varro, a fellow slave training at the same gladiator school with whom Spartacus becomes close friends.

Just like their characters did on the show, Courtney and Whitfield developed a brotherly relationship on set. In a conversation with director and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie for Interview Magazine, Courtney described how Whitfield became a friend and mentor: "We only worked together for nine months on that show, but we became like brothers ... He knew that sense of anticipation, and also the immense disappointment that comes with this film world ... he kind of prepared me for it, told me about how you get out there—who you need to meet, how you spend that time."

Sadly, Whitfield passed away from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2011. According to Courtney, the last time he spoke to his friend was to deliver the good news that he'd been cast in a high profile film: "I called him ... and I said, 'Man, I got a movie.' And he was thrilled, he was laughing, but he was literally hobbling around the f****** kitchen, because at that point he couldn't walk."

The movie Courtney had landed was 2012's Jack Reacher, directed by McQuarrie and starring Tom Cruise.

Jai Courtney became an action movie regular

In Jack Reacher, Courtney plays Charlie, an assassin working for the film's big baddie, the Zec (Werner Herzog). Although it's a supporting role, Courtney still got the opportunity to go fist-to-fist with Cruise, who plays the film's titular hero. The movie also set Courtney up for appearances in several other big-budget American action films.

A year after Jack Reacher, Courtney got a meatier role in A Good Day to Die Hard. The film is the fifth installment of the legendary Die Hard series and sees John McClane (Bruce Willis) embroiled in an international terrorist plot, while trying to rescue his CIA agent son from a Russian prison.

Playing the son of one of the biggest action movie heroes of all time sounds like an intimidating task. Courtney explained to Den of Geek that he didn't overthink his chemistry with Willis, saying, "My approach wasn't heavily based on imitating or mimicking Bruce really. I think about fathers and sons, they're totally different people ... For me, the similarities were there on the page, and it was just about creating that relationship and believing in that."

Courtney continued to make a name for himself as an action movie actor with appearances in Terminator Genisys and The Divergent Series. He followed those parts up with a role in an exciting property from the DC Extended Universe.

Jai Courtney is a member of the Suicide Squad

After establishing himself as an action movie regular, Courtney was cast as Suicide Squad's resident Aussie. The actor played Captain Boomerang, a rambunctious career criminal who gets drafted onto the squad after The Flash (Ezra Miller) catches him during one of his many bank robberies.

Although Suicide Squad is now notorious for getting picked apart by critics (and some fans), as Courtney describes it, a lot of effort went into making the film. During an interview with BUILD Series, the actor said of working with director David Ayer, "[H]e doesn't go out of his way to make you feel comfortable. It's kind of good, though, you know ... it forces you to think, and it forces you to want to work harder and take things on and stretch outside yourself."

Jai Courtney will be reprising his role in the upcoming standalone sequel, The Suicide Squad. We'll be glad to see him pick up the killer boomerang again, but we also hope to see the versatile actor take on more thoughtful dramatic projects like Stateless in the future.