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Jeremy Renner "If you can remain semi-anonymous you can constantly be discovered."

We're delighted to share Sally A. Edwards' conversation with Jeremy Renner which was recorded prior to the release of Katherine Bigelow's multi-award winning film, "The Hurt Locker". Back then, Jeremy had literally just received the call to play Hawkeye. The inspiring conversation covers everything from taking you inside the suit to travel, cooking, architecture and some unforgettable facts about you and your home.

Jeremy Renner "If you can remain semi-anonymous you can constantly be discovered."
Interview by Sally A. Edwards

Now, I could begin this story with an elaborate anecdote of our encounter, of how Jeremy Renner was dressed. I could also recount his facial expressions and body language, or make comparisons to the characters he’s played in The Town and The Hurt Locker, but unfortunately this was one of those scenarios that doesn’t get close. For this was a meeting purely by phone, a long distance call with a total stranger.

You see as much as I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to have a good chat and to learn about people, these phone interviews can be awkward nonetheless. You can’t gauge slight reactions. You can’t tell if eyes roll and – for this time in particular – you can’t tell when the other will speak. Resulting in the equivalent of a high paced edit of an unscripted split screen phone conversation.

These moments, you’ll be glad to know have been edited out. I’m sure it would be pretty boring for you to read “I’m sorry”, “You’re breaking up a little there,” surrounding several repeated questions.
With all that said, you do however determine quite a lot from the levels of ‘umm’s, laughter, sighs and the sound of a smiling voice. And once you engage you get a sense of facial expressions.

The only other part of the scene I can set is that it’s night time in the UK and it’s the afternoon in New York City. When I say who’s calling, Jeremy answers, “Hellooo” and tells me he’s just got a cup of coffee, is going to make himself comfy and that it’s raining. Good stuff. He knows he’s talking to a Brit.

***

The first thing I wanted to ask you – and I know you’ve probably been asked umpteen times – is how did you get into acting? Was it through education or was it through friends and family?
“You know it wasn’t until I was 18 or 19, I was at a community college. I was a science major, a criminology major and none of them were kind of sticking, so I took this random acting class and it stuck. I fell in love with it, it was really like 19 years of emotional repression. The stage became a wonderful playground for me as a young man to explore all these feelings I was having and be able to explore them safely because I could get behind the characters. I really loved the whole idea of telling stories and getting involved in the artistry of it. I went onto LA and studied a lot more and then got to work. Hey! Lovely!” [laughs]

PASSION & PATIENCE

The theme of the issue is Passion & Patience, so I wanted to ask you: What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
[Laughs] "Errrrr, wow! Music is probably one of the top two you know, because I’m passionate about my job as an actor and music as well, because those translate into my life and I’m fortunate enough to have my job be something I’m very passionate about. I wish that was a common place. I feel like for a lot of people it’s not.”

No, I know, definitely. So the other thing is, what are you most patient about?
“I think with being passionate about what you do for a living, there are sacrifices and with those you have to be patient. That’s where I’ve learnt a lot, I was a very impatient young man growing up. I had to learn different ways and coping mechanisms to deal with doing what I wanted to do in life and not doing some job that makes money and then affords me a vacation to do what I really want to do, like jetski on the Riviera or whatever [laughs], you know what I mean? I get that patience and what the passion’s about.”

So our theme works very well then?
“Yes, yes it does and if something comes easy, it doesn’t seem as gratifying, you know I’m 39 and feel like... I feel like I’m starting and I don’t know, there’s something very gratifying about the 12 miles of bad road to get to this spot.”

The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 3 Nø 2 print edition in 2011.

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