This is a big year for Jeremy Renner. He came out of 2011 on a high note thanks to the great success of “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.” The two-time Oscar nominee has other big releases in 2012 as well: “The Avengers” and “The Bourne Legacy” chief among them.
In honor of his star-making year, The Hollywood Reporter ran a lengthy profile piece on Renner. Among the many topics discussed, Renner talked about his role in Marvel’s ensemble superhero movie “The Avengers.”
“Avengers was the first big movie I signed on to,” he said. “It was something Zak Penn was the writer on; he’s a friend. Then I met [Marvel Studios president and Avengers producer] Kevin Feige, and Zak was really pushing, saying ’You guys have got to hire Renner.’ ”
And hire him they did. Producer Kevin Feige said he knew from the beginning that Renner was a star he wanted on his team.
“I had a general meeting with him just when [’The Hurt Locker’] was gaining steam,” Feige said. “He doesn’t just have the guts to do the stunts but also a level of knowledge and skill that’s impressive. He can even talk about ’pick’ points — where a wire attaches to your body when you’re pulled through the air.”
Speaking of stunts, Renner opted out of using a stunt man for many of the action scenes in “The Avengers.” Feige recalled one day on set when he watched Renner jump from a two-story building while turning and shooting a bow and arrow toward the camera — the same shot we’ve seen repeatedly in the trailers for the movie.
“That was him, not a stuntman. And it was impressive,” Feige said. “He’s got this great intensity and is very focused.”
Unfortunately, in one instance that hands-on approach backfired. Apparently Renner suffered a pretty significant injury — tearing a muscle from his back to his shoulder — while on the set of “The Avengers.”
“He’s an amazing fighter — his fight work is wonderful: precise, heroic, and you seldom have to double him,” said Joss Whedon. “But one day he just turned wrong and his whole body shut down. He could not do anything. He was in enormous pain, and we had to shut that sequence down and shoot it a couple of weeks later.”
Renner takes it all in stride, though. “The star thing, the celebrity thing, is new to me. I don’t want to be a good celebrity, a good f–ing star. I want to be a good human being,” he said.
Do you think Renner will end up being a big star this year? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!