Jeremy Lee Renner is an American actor, singer-songwriter, film producer, former makeup artist, and musician. He is best known for his roles in The Hurt Locker for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and for playing Hawkeye in Marvel's The Avengers. He also appeared in commercially successful films such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Bourne Legacy, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and American Hustle. Throughout the 2000s, Renner appeared largely in independent films such as Dahmer and Neo Ned. He also appeared in supporting roles in bigger films such as S.W.A.T. and 28 Weeks Later. He then turned out a much-praised performance in The Town, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
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To celebrate the release of my new film Kill The Messenger, which hits theaters tomorrow, October 10th, I’m doing my first ever AMA. You can see the trailer here.
Victoria's going to be helping me out in-person today. AMAA.
Update: I'm outta time. Thanks for chatting with me, and it was fun answering your questions, but I have to go shower and get dressed for this premiere. Let's all go see it together! Who wants to be my date?
Hello Jeremy Renner. My wife loves you. What can I tell her about you that will make her change her mind?
I'm not available! Hahaha!
"I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people."
Can you please tell me how BADASS it was to film that scene?
I don't know how badass it was. You know, there's a lot of weight on one line, and the delivery of that line, i remember that, but it came out alright. It didn't feel badass, no.
Robert Downey Jr. said that his favorite comic book hero is Hawkeye because of his 2 year old. How did you trump Iron Man?
Well, when your dad's Iron Man, I suppose... maybe he's tired of 'im! And he's 2 for chrissakes. Maybe it's more fun to shoot bows & arrows.
I was with Downey and his family recently, and it's funny to see his boy in the car seat- he actually liked Hawkeye and Thor, maybe it's the bow and arrow and hammer, but somehow we made it into Downey's son's bathtub, our action figures did anyway.
Haha - and it's cool to have a 2 year old fan. It's pretty awesome.
Legolas, Hawkeye, and Robin Hood enter an archery tournament. Who gets first, second and third place?
I guess it depends on the bow. But again - I'm going to have to go with the superhero in that one!
Were you upset about the lack of Hawkeye in The Winter Soldier?
Personally I was hoping for at least an after credits stinger with you grilling burgers on your buildings roof, while the helicarriers all crashed in the background.
No. I have no feelings about that.
You were a damn fine cop... Why'd you take the money?
You gotta make a choice! The Red Pill or the Blue Pill, you gotta make a choice!
Hey Jeremy will you ever Instagram those photos of Robert Downey Jr washing your car?
Hahaha... I don't know what you're talking about.
Huge fan of all your work. I was wondering if you would ever have an interest in doing a stand alone Hawkeye film based on the new storyline presented in the newest Hawkeye comic series. Your portrayal of Clint is incredible, and I think the content in the new comics would be great to see on screen.
Am I interested? Always have been interested. I always love Clint, and in the last Avengers: Age of Ultron, we got to dive into him some more. Very excited about the outcome of it, and where it can go in the future. But all I can do is want. And that's all I can do. It all comes down to the content, and really how the puppeteers at Marvel can manifest a story that's worthy of a solo movie. Not sure what that is, or how that is, but I'm confident they can do whatever they want, if they want to do it. And I'd be game.
A lot of us over at /r/SHIELD want to ask a question: is there any chance of you appearing on Agents of SHIELD?
I guess, again - those are questions that are tough to really answer, because it's above my pay grade, haha! It's not something I sit and think about. But I suppose if it was offered up, there's an outside chance it could happen. I haven't seen the show, so I don't know how it works, but I'm sure the folks at Marvel have ideas, and when they're strong enough, they'll bring 'em to me. But I love me some Clark Gregg, he's so great. We killed him and brought him back to life to do Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., he's so good!
Who's the last famous person you texted with?
I'm kinda doing it now... Robert Downey Jr.
Hi Jeremy! First off this is the first ama I've been on time for, so my question for you is.. What was it like to play Jeffery Dahmer in Dahmer?
Terrifying. Disturbing. That kind of wraps it up. And challenging.
How was it like starring in Louie? What is Louis CK like?
Also, who's the most interesting actor or director you have worked with?
Thanks! And good luck with the new film!
He's the best. Louis is the best. I did that show cuz of him. We have a kindred spirit. And I'd do it again in 2 seconds. I'd love to bang heads with him again, he's amazing.
Interesting is a weird word to use... you know, David O. Russell is by far, he used the most different way to shoot, because it was done like a play, lit 360 degrees, so everyone is on, in character, in ready and prepared, all the time, like being in a 3-dimensional theater. I've never run from the camera so much as I did on that, because I ran out of material, so I'd have to run to the bathroom, or go to craft services where they couldn't shoot me because it wasn't "period" - that was the most interesting shooting environment, for sure.
Pizza rolls or pizza bagels?
Hi Jeremy! I love your work, will you ever do a musical movie or even a Broadway play?
Yes. And yes.
You've worked with Sam Jackson twice now (MCU and Swat.) What's the coolest interaction you guys have had?
I think... anytime you can get Sam Jackson to curse, to speak expletives, that's amazing. It's not very difficult to do, Hahahaha! But he can make bad words sound good! It's amazing! I think there's an app making Sam Jackson say bad words, and again, he's one of the funniest guys I know. Love me some Sam.
That's a gorilla, not a monkey! But nonetheless, awesome. Looks like he's having more fun than killing him. Like he's riding him into the sunset. But thank you.
Who is your favorite character in "The Jungle Book" and why?
You can't have a favorite character in the Jungle Book, they're all amazing!
Sher Khan is amazing - Baloo is probably the closest - I think Khan has the best voice, but Baloo is the best character. Classic Disney film.
Ray Liotta did an AMA earlier today, How intense is he in person?
Is he intense? I don't know. I think he's a lovable guy. I mean, he's intense looking, for sure. He's got a resting face that looks like he wants to hurt you, but he's very gregarious. It's guys like Joaquin Phoenix, or Ray, they're in that grouping - guys that you think might be the most intense and scary are usually the funniest. And I think Ray is one of those.
In a battle royale of all the characters you've played, who would come out victorious?
I guess, you gotta go for the superhero, i guess?
I've heard that you enjoy real estate and flipping houses. What got you into that area and what do you most enjoy about it?
I enjoy - what got me into it was wanting to invest into something. I wasn't into stocks or anything like that, but something tangible, it meant something to me, because if it all went to hell, at least I'd have a roof over my head, yeah. And what I love about real estate is that it exists, it's a tangible art form to me, to create a lifestyle for somebody is a gratifying feeling, and knowing the structures will outlast me for many, many years is also a wonderful feeling as well. To take something that was once great in the 1920's and to reimagine it for something for today's lifestyle is a great challenge, and something we became very very good at.
Thanks for doing this AMA.
Did you ever lose focus on the set of American Hustle when seeing Bale's character?
What is the best thing about working on the Avengers: Age of Ultron?
No, I think - there's a thousand reasons to lose focus. Seeing Bale's character helped me get INTO character, the complete opposite. It's funny because David's sitting over here in the corner! We have the cast in the whole get up, David was playing music, it was very easy to be locked into that time, place and space, so it was not a distraction, it actually helped me get into character.
Who's your favorite superhero?
I don't have a favorite. My first crush was Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, she was my first crush as a young boy, but that doesn't mean she's my favorite superhero. As a young kid, I was a big Spider-Man fan, I always wanted to be Peter Parker.
what did you enjoy best at school, before you got into theatre studies?
Oh, you know, I went to college studying computer science. I was good in computers. And I realized that my personality didn't fit behind a computer or tearing apart a computer, mind you, when you studied DOS and PASCAL and Basic, I looked around at everybody I was with and realized I had nothing in common with those people. But I was good at computers.
If you could have shawarma with anyone in history, who would it be?
That's the question?
Who would it be with in all of history? Um...
I'd like to have shawarma with, probably, either Wolfgang Amadeus or Beethoven. Can I do both? A shawarma party. They have composed music that has affected my spirit until the day I die.
Hi Jeremy, thanks for coming to Reddit.
During all the drama of Iron Man 3 and Cap 2, Hawkeye was nowhere to be seen. Where do you think he would be?
I think you're going to find out in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
You've achieved huge success relatively late in your career - how are you coping with the impact on your life?
(and congratulations on many fantastic performances)
Achieving success later on in life is probably the greatest gift I could have been given, to have been recognized for what I was recognized for. That's where Luck played a huge role in my career, and i'm very thankful and blessed for that. And I'm able to fully enjoy, with my feet on the ground, all the experiences with my head up high, knowing that I earned what I have, and feel again very blessed to be able to continue to work.
Would you rather fight a a Groot sized Rocket or twenty Rocket sized Groots?
Groot-sized rocket. I'm going to go with the massive one, yeah. I don't want a bunch of little piranhas coming after me!
if you had a time machine, which historical event would you travel back to witness/experience?
You know, I wanna be back in the age of dinosaurs. I want to witness... I wouldn't want to see the asteroid striking, because then they'd be dead, but I'd certainly... I would love to be running from something that's trying to eat me. Some vicious, toothed dinosaur trying to eat me, running to my cave. That's where I'd like to be. That's where I'd go. I'd get out from the time machine and a T-Rex is coming for me, and I have to haul ass. I want to see how long I would be able to live. Hahaha!
You seem pretty athletic and fit (especially for all those action movies!) so do you do most of your own stunt work?
I do all of my own stunts, yes.
OMG finally I find an AMA without being 240 hours late to the party!
MR. RENNER, you are one of my favorite actors. I think you part in Neo Ned was one of the best performances I've seen in a movie, actually.
I loved the Jason Bourne movies. Is there any chance of you working with Matt Damon on another Bourne- movie? Also, who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to acting? I've actually thought about this a lot, and in some weird way, I think you have some (a lot?) in common with Bruce Willies actingwise.
Sorry for bad english, Norwegian and stuff
Is there a chance? There's an outside chance of it happening. I don't have control of that. If I DID have control of that, I would love it to happen, but I don't have control of that.
What would be your food of choice if you were stuck on a desert island?
Food of choice, stuck on a desert island...
It would have to be something that wouldn't grow on that island, like a vat of cookie dough or something. Cookie dough or maybe some KC Prime Rib... it has to be something like that.
Big fan of your work in The Hurt Locker. What's on your bucket list?
You know, I don't really have a bucket list. I try to live my life every day as if it was my last, knowing that it's not. But yeah, I don't really have a bucket list of things I have to do before I die.
Hi Jeremy! Will you ever release an album? I've heard you sing and it's amazing!
Oh, you know? I'm... trying to find time to actually do that. But will it ever happen? I don't know. And I don't know if I'd be ever interested in fully releasing it. I would rather find a role where i could sing, rather than switching to being a singer with an album. I think I'd rather stick to what I'm doing.
Knowing you're a big Muse fan, do their songs inspire you when you're preparing for a role? Also, what's your most favorite album by them?
Album...I can't pick one album that would be my favorite, because I really do love them all. But I use their music a lot in each character - I create a specific playlist to evoke a certain emotion - and Muse has been consistently on those playlists for almost all characters I've played. Because they have such a wide range of tones, and anthems - even 20 Weeks Later, it started from then all the way to now.
It's like Radiohead meets Queen! I love all those bands, they are tremendous.
I'm a huge music buff. I want to know- what is your dream concert lineup? Three bands. They don't have to still be together. :)
Muse, Radiohead, and Queen. That's pretty bad-ass.
Hello, I have two questions for you
I saw your ice bucket challenge video with Sam Rockwell and Leslie Bibb in it. What was the story behind the kiddie pool? I like it
What is your favorite dessert?
Haha! Conserving water was the first idea. And then... that was really the only place. It was convenient. Conserving water and convenient.
If I participate in #MondayLungeDay every Monday, will I become as fabulous as you?
As long as you switch legs!
You gotta switch it up, or you'll be very lopsided. That's all I gotta say about that.
Is there anything you can tell us about Mission: Impossible 5?
It's going to be badass. It will not disappoint.
What is the best/funniest practical joke you have seen happen on the set?
Oh, seeing happen and heard happen are very different things. Downey is top of the list of most of those, but most of those I didn't see. What I HAVE seen on set... I don't know! Practical jokes... when someone does their off-camera, and it happens quite often, when people are off-camera doing a scene, they like to distract their fellow actor and screw with them a little bit, and sometimes you'll do it naked, or no pants, to try to distract them and screw them up. So I've seen that MUCH more than once. Hahaha. Or at least topless. Hahah.
a friend is considering getting a dog, what would you say to convince them to get a french bulldog?
Uh, I love me some frenchies. Convince them? I don't know. You have to either love their beat-up, uglycute faces... you know what's great about French bulldogs is they're great apartment dogs, and they are wonderful companions, and for me as a man, to have a small dog and not feel like, you know, I got this little toy dog, it's the toughest, most masculine little dog I think out there on the market. And most importantly, they got LOADS of personality. And I think they are lower maintenance because they can't be walked too long. They are great companion dogs for small spaces.
But make sure you have windows, because they can be a little gassy!
I've had 3 or 4 of 'em.
You've called a few other celebrities generous. Are you referring to their acting? How do you approach controlling your presence to ensure focus goes to the actor whose scene 'it is'?
p.s. How scary fast is Victoria with her typing?!
Generous, yeah, means - I use that word as a way, because they are very giving, on camera and off camera, with their performance. And off camera, out of character, sort of talking and dialogue and exploring the character. And their willingness to dig deeper and find more about our craft and what we're doing.
What was it like working with Mary Elizabeth Winstead? Thanks and can't wait to see the movie!
Ah! Mary's great. She was a tremendous get for us, on this movie. One of the reasons why I wanted to do the movie was because of that role and because of Rosemarie DeWitt's role, and wanted to strengthen those roles, because they were strong women roles. I think there's a huge lack of that in cinema. That was one of the main reasons. And once we got Mary, it's a tricky role to pull off, especially as a young editor, and she's great. We had a lot of fun. She's smart, giving, and thoughtful, and I think she's tremendous in the movie.
What co-star or director has given you the best advice about your craft?
Gosh, wow, that's a tough one.
Let's come back.
Hi, so what's your favorite breakfast?
Eggs benedict. Coffee.
What is your favorite color?
Again, I don't believe in favorites. I like blue eyes, but I don't like blue ice cream. I like blue skies, but not blue clothes. I don't have a favorite color.
What's your favourite part of going to a film premiere?
I guess it depends on the movie. And how many times I've seen that movie before the premiere. But it's always a wonderful celebration of many people's hard work, coming down to that moment to send it into the ether. Tonight I'm very excited - this is like a little, giving birth to this little story that's important to me. I'll actually watch it tonight - I don't actually watch the premieres - i've seen the movie once before, and I'll see it tonight with the audience. I don't get to do that very often, so for the movie tonight, I'm very excited about it. Because cinema to me, is much different, when it's a shared experience - versus a home theater. When you're with other people, that energy around is really quite palpable.
Hi Jeremy, what made you decide to take on the role of Gary Webb in Kill The Messenger?
First, it was the character, I thought, was rich, and complex, and flawed as a hero, which is very attractive to me, because it's very real to me and human. And the story and its themes of David & Goliath, an everyman in extraordinary circumstances, I'm attached to these themes, and these stories being true, a story that broke 70 miles from where I grew up and then not knowing about it, became a character I wanted to play to a character I had to play, and a story I had to tell.
Hello Mr. Renner,
Quick question, what is your favorite book and why?
Again - favorites - this is not a word in my vocabulary. I think it's too limiting. And books - I only read nonfiction. I personally like architectural books.
Jeremy, you are awesome!
What does Robert Downey Jr. smell like?
How about... candy canes. Downey smells like candy canes. Hahaha!
What's the cutest thing your daughter has done lately?
Um... well, she just sent me a message saying that she loves me. She says "I love you." That's pretty damn cute.
What's your favorite Dinosaur?
Velociraptor. I love the way they move, like a ninja.