I love Jeremy Renner. I find him incredibly sexy, probably because the little guy has some mystique about him. He got his biggest break when he was 38 years old (The Hurt Locker), and since then, he’s been surprisingly good at managing his press. You hear the gay rumors about him all the time, but that hasn’t deterred from his “butch” image. When boyish man-children are invading superhero costumes as far as the eye can see, it’s dudes like Jeremy and Jon Hamm taking the “Real Man” mantle. Renner is grizzled. Renner is sun-damaged. Renner knows how to fix your car and refinish your floors. I would imagine that he would know how to clean your pipes, too. Speaking of, Renner covers the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter – you can read the full article here. He’s promoting his part in the new Jason Bourne film (The Bourne Legacy) as well as The Avengers. Here are some highlights from the piece:
Money stuff: Even though Hurt Locker was gaining steam at the time, Renner received a mere six-figures for Avengers (he also did a cameo in Thor), but will get more if Marvel exercises its option to star him in up to six other films. As for Bourne, if Renner continues with the franchise (he’s agreed to two more films), the $5 million he received for Legacy will zoom to an asking price of $10 million-plus — and might reach as much as the $20 million Matt Damon received for the series’ most recent outing in 2007.
The gay rumors: For Renner, Internet speculation already has centered around whom he’s dating (everyone from Jessica Simpson to Scarlett Johansson, if you believe the tabs) to his sexual orientation. “I want my personal life to be personal, and it’s not f—ing true,” he says of the suppositions. “And I don’t care if you’re talking about things that are true, you’re still talking about my personal life. How about I go peek in your window, take what underwear you wore last night, whose husband you were f—ing, and shove that in the megaphone throughout your neighborhood? How does that feel?”
His past relationships (with women): As to his long-term involvements, he says he had one five-year relationship with a woman while in his 20s and another that ended two years ago after 4 1⁄2 years. He met that girlfriend, Jes Macallan — who, as her Twitter account reveals, married actor Jason Gray-Stanford (Monk) on March 17 — when she was 23 and working at a film festival in Florida; subsequently, she decided to go into acting. “That was part of the issue,” says Renner. “I was going through the Hurt Locker campaign and she’s like, ‘Where do I get headshots?’”
That Thailand knife-fight: “It was a silly, tragic accident that happened to this guy,” explains Renner, noting that he had gone to Phuket for a break when an acquaintance made a comment and “got attacked in a bar fight at 4 in the morning. He was saying stuff, and 20 people jumped on him. I was in flip-flops. I don’t do bar fights. Did he deserve to get stabbed and almost murdered by 20 people? F— no.” (Six local men were arrested.)
Crazy Christmas story: Renner tells the story of how, on Christmas Eve a few years back, when he was with his family in a bar, “This guy chokes me with the scarf I was wearing. He called me a fag ’cause I was wearing a scarf! Then he shoved my sister and I got behind him and I choked him out — put him to sleep.”
Hesitating before taking the role in The Bourne Legacy: “It was a game-changer in anonymity,” he says. “I had to consider how this was going to affect everyone I love — especially myself. 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.”
Advice from Tom Cruise: Renner prepared intensely for The Avengers, training for six weeks in hand-to-hand combat and Filipino stick-fighting and keeping in mind the advice Tom Cruise gave him while making Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: “Since you are doing all your stuff, there is no second string and you have to do due diligence not to get injured.”
On-set injuries: On Bourne, “I got injured kicking a table and missing and hyper-extending my leg! I had to get an MRI.” He also hurt his arm, which “will be f— ed up for a while. I can’t really grab anything” with one hand. Ditto on Avengers. “He’s an amazing fighter — his fight work is wonderful: precise, heroic, and you seldom have to double him,” says director 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.”
He may do Broadway, but only if he doesn’t get cast opposite Michael Fassbender: The actor may do a run on Broadway of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with his Avengers co-star Johansson, but only if Ridley Scott doesn’t hire him for his upcoming The Counselor.
His poor dead puppy: In March, Renner’s 8-month-old French bulldog, Franklin, died of a heart attack. For a moment, Renner’s eyes go moist because the puppy touches on the singular problem that has most bedeviled him the past two years. Says Renner, “He was my solution for being so lonely.”
See? He seems like a nice guy. I like the “I don’t do bar fights” line – it speaks to his emotional maturity. And he’s not gay! Hopefully. Probably. Definitely? Sure. Whatever, I’m buying it. I think he’s into girls, big time. I think he talks about loneliness and he uses those intense, world-weary puppy-dog eyes and the panties just slide off of whatever girl he’s working on. And he might work with Fassbender in The Counselor too! OMG.