Monday, May 21, 2018

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2005

THE FIRST THING I NOTICED ABOUT JEREMY RENNER WHEN HE WALKED INTO THE ROOM was that his jacket looked too big for him. He had a promising reputation, which must have been well deserved as up to that point his resume mostly consisted of a National Lampoon comedy, a variety of supporting roles and a single star turn playing serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. What he looked like in that room at the old Four Seasons was a young actor who barely had the wardrobe for a few days of press at a film festival in Canada.

Near as I can tell he was in town to help promote North Country, a film starring Charlize Theron. Still in Renner's future were roles in 28 Weeks Later and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and, ultimately, the star turn in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker that would make Renner a star. After that - recurring roles in Mission: Impossible films, a lead role replacing Matt Damon in the Bourne film series and ultimately Hawkeye, one of the Avengers, in the movie franchise that's basically consumed Hollywood.

Jeremy Renner, Toronto, Sept. 11, 2005

When I shot Renner at the film festival the first Iron Man film was three years from being released (I'd be flown to Los Angeles for a big budget press junket for the film,) and it would be hard to imagine then how totally a superhero franchise would dominate the movie industry. It only occurred to me as I was writing this that, with Renner, three consecutive blog posts here have featured actors with roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I can tell I was shooting in the old Four Seasons because of the light. I didn't have much sense of Renner - he hadn't been around long enough to create a screen persona of any sort, and so I put him against a white wall with the Four Seasons windows behind me and did what amounts to a mug shot, letting the young actor (he was 34 at the time) confront me and my camera. He looks confident, maybe even a bit cocky. It's the picture of a young man about to get everything he's dreamed about, and more.

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