How Sad is Jeremy Renner? Let Us Count the Ways
In a new interview over at The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Renner gets real about his on-the-brink career and personal life -- like, so real you'll want to give him a hug and then buy all the tickets for Bourne just to help him on his humble way towards megamillionaire action hero status. He's either a calculatedly brilliant PR strategist or a walking country song. Either way, this dog-loving, single dude, does-his-own-stunts part-time house-flipper is sure to endear himself to all four quadrants with this profile-boosting piece. Oh Jeremy Renner, don't be so sad!
This moment in time is what historians years from now might consider a turning point in Renner's career; hot from his breakout roles in The Hurt Locker and The Town, he landed supporting turns in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the upcoming Avengers, and will soon debut two of his own starring vehicles: 2013's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and this summer's The Bourne Legacy, taking over from franchise star Matt Damon.
All in all, Renner seems like a fairly well-adjusted guy who's only now having to deal with fame and all that comes with it. But you know what? Renner's puppy passed away last month, man, and he is so lonely he refers to his loneliness twice in the same interview. Get the Kleenex ready, people. This shit gets dark.
For starters, Renner and bars don't have the best history.
He 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." Without a trace of irony, he adds, "I'm not violent." Although, he says, "I'd have gone to prison" if he'd been present when a family member recently was raped. Oh.
For that matter, Renner's pals and bars have it pretty bad, too.
And what about that much-reported knife fight in Thailand in January? "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.)
Phew. Time out for some unexpected getting-to-know-youness: Jeremy Renner isn't just a sometimes house-flipper, he also loves macro photography! In other news, Jeremy Renner has had long-term relationships, but both of them ended. Sadface.
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?'"
Are we losing the dudes? Here's a masculine tidbit to keep the male demo: Renner isn't one of those sissypants action stars -- he does his own stunts! (And pays the price.)
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.
But forget torn muscles and strained ligaments -- the most painful thing to endure on-set is probably the loneliness, which Renner blames for his break-down while shooting The Hurt Locker.
"Pure loneliness, that's what it came down to. It was a whole rainbow of good and bad."
Talking about losing his puppy last month, though, brings the tears.
Most recently came the death in March of his 8-month-old French bulldog, Franklin, 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."
Goddammit, Renner. You're gonna make me cry.
The Bourne Legacy is in theaters August 3. Let's buy up all the tickets so Renner doesn't feel so alone. Let our box office dollars wash over him like a giant group hug.