December 11, 2011 -- Why Jeremy Renner Can't Say No to Brandt (


MANILA, Philippines - Jeremy Renner plays the enigmatic agent William Brandt in Misson Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The character had immediate appeal to Renner. “Brandt is an analyst, a seemingly tight-wound desk guy who is smart as a whip, and that’s his job. He’s not very emotional about things. Then, you slowly start to see the revealing of who he really is — particularly through seeing this physical skill set you would not expect out of a tight, blue shirt-wearing analyst. He doesn’t really want to be part of the team, but circumstances force him to join the group,” says Renner.

Renner came to the project almost by chance, after a quick meeting with Abrams regarding another project, on a day when Cruise happened to be visiting for a production meeting. “Then, literally, from that meeting, I just came over to Paramount and sat down with Brad Bird, Bryan Burk and Tom, and they pitched me the story — there wasn’t even a script yet. They described the character and it seemed pretty interesting. I couldn’t say no.”


Would you say Brandt is a new kind of Mission: Impossible agent?

“Yeah, definitely a new character, I think every character in the movie is new. Even though Pegg was in the last one, his character has grown and continued on to be a field agent — not a guy behind the scenes. There are so many things that are so different; I don’t want to draw a comparison to any of the other Mission movies. It being a Mission: Impossible is the only thing it has in common with the previous films, that and Ethan Hunt are the through-lines here. There is great conflict and drama and a sense of humour within all the characters. I really think that’s what separates it. Of course, it has the big action set pieces, and Mission: Impossible is known for those big-action set pieces, but this has things even bigger and more intense and now it’s partially shot in IMAX, which is really more immersive visually. But there’s time and care spent on the characters, as much as you possibly can in a big, fun popcorn movie like this so you get invested hopefully and then the ride becomes even more fun.”


How would you say this Mission: Impossible is bigger than the other ones?

“Bigger doesn’t always mean better. You could make this a really intimate story as well and I think it’d be fantastic. But this one has a big scale, and the places we go and the things we’re doing, the action set pieces were big, like the Burj Khalifa. That’s a really big set piece. And the story, the scale and the stakes are really high, much higher than they have been in the other ones. IMF is shut down, it’s coming at it from a whole other angle. How do you get bigger than this?”


How much is this Mission: Impossible focused on being a team game with Tom’s Ethan Hunt as their leader?

“They’re always going to have that kind of Tom Cruise stamp on them because he’s a force to be reckoned with, but he was adamant about it being a bit more of a team, a crumbling team or terrible team or wonderful team, whatever we end up being or not being... He certainly wanted it to be a bit more of a collective than him just going on this journey and the audience following. Now it’s a little bit more splintered out.”


Surely one of the great pleasures of Mission: Impossible, like the old Bond films used to offer, is the chance to go round the world?

“For Mission, we had some Moscow, we were in Prague, we were in Dubai, we were in Mumbai, and then Vancouver. Most of those were splinter units, the main unit, main, main stuff was in Prague, Dubai and then stagework in Vancouver. They had a race sequence over in Mumbai real quick and then did a week I think somewhere in Moscow, but otherwise we did Prague and Vancouver and Dubai for the big set pieces.”