Though Jeremy Renner (‘Hurt Locker’) has become the go-to guy for action franchises – think ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ and ‘The Bourne Legacy’ – portraying bow and arrow marksman Hawkeye in Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is his first foray into the world of super heroes.
Renner’s Hawkeye, a SHIELD (international peacekeeping agency) agent, joins Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and Black Widow to save the world from annihilation. A quick word with Renner:
Were you a Marvel comics fan and how much did you know about Hawkeye before signing on?
I was familiar with the main characters, like Captain America, but I didn’t read comics as a kid. I think, being unfamiliar with Hawkeye was a benefit for me because I had no preconceived ideas about the character. When I went to meet Kevin Feige (producer) about the film, he showed me images and I liked the idea that Hawkeye was just a human with a high skill. I’ve played a few snipers here and there, and there’s a really interesting mentality that comes along with that.
Who is Hawkeye, according to you?
I would describe Hawkeye as being alone in the game, an outcast and a loner. He’s a lone wolf sort of a character, so he’s not a team player, but will be there if needed.
Your costume in the film is very different from the one that Hawkeye wears in the comics.
I don’t know how the fans will respond, but my costume is very utilitarian. It’s a more protective, military clothing, which makes it more plausible for my character, who is human… Scarlett and I get the most human-looking clothes.
Did you have to prepare a lot physically for the role?
Not much, no. They didn’t really want me to get that buff because they already have Captain America, Thor and The Hulk in the film. I think they wanted me to be sort of lean and agile.
Did you undergo any archery training for the role?
I practised with Olympic archers, who gave me a few lessons. I learned the basics and the proper positions and that really helped.
Why is Marvel’s The Avengers different from other blockbusters?
Joss Whedon (director/writer) is such a great writer. It was a massive challenge to assemble all these characters, who are normally #1 in their own movies, in one script… Joss keeps it interesting by spending time on the human angle and giving things a sense of humor. He spends a lot of time on the details.
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