Jeremy Renner Talks "Kill the Messenger," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and his "Bourne" Future (starpulse)
- Published: Saturday, 27 September 2014 23:46
- Written by coolshades
Jeremy Renner is an actor's actor. At least that's what we've come to believe. In the short time since he's exploded into the mainstream with an Oscar-nominated performance in Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker", Renner has become something of a multi-purpose performer. He's proven his capabilities in a variety of different genres, from bank robbers to superheroes, and he seems keen on stretching his talents as far as they can go.
In his new film, the politically-charged thriller "Kill The Messenger", Renner takes on the true life tale of San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, whose investigation into a CIA-sanctioned drug operation made him the target of a coordinated media smear campaign. We were invited, along with a few other journalists, to sit down with Renner and chat about the film, as well as "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and his uncertain future in the "Bourne" franchise.
Why were you so passionate to play Gary Webb?
Jeremy Renner: I wanted to play him for a lot of reasons. I got a really great script by Peter Landesman, and then discovering that it was a true story made it important to be on the big screen. So I'm like, okay now I can really consider actually doing this. The more I researched and the more I studied it, I realized, hey wait a second - this all happened like 70 miles from where I grew up and I know nothing about it. Then I researched some more and I realized some of the sort of downstream effects of what he uncovered, and I thought it was something I had to do and not want to do.
Did you talk with Gary's family?
JR: Well Peter Landesman, who wrote the script, had spoken with them in-depth, and a lot of other sources I'm sure. But, I wasn't afforded that, nor did I want to. I was adamant about not speaking with the family, because I didn't want anything biased coming my way. They were very generous in giving me home videos of their father, her husband, doing mundane things so I'd get a great sense of who he was as a father, as a husband, as a journalist... I didn't want to talk with them directly about their father, that's dead. It's not my place to come dig up old feelings, or new feelings, or fresh feelings. I didn't want to do that, so I could go play him in a movie. So, out of respect for the family I kind of hid from them, if you will. Then I kind of got to meet them later on in the last week of shooting.
Why do you think Gary's story hasn't been told on-screen before?
JR: I don't know. Because it's not popular, perhaps? What he wrote about was very unpopular. It affected a lot of people. It's sort of been talked about, and then brushed away, and kind of acknowledged, and then brushed away. That's why I'm sitting here right now talking about it. I think it's time to deal with this, and it's very relevant to what's happening in our world right now. With whistle-blowing, accountability in journalism, sensationalism in media which is freakin' disgusting to me. You probably deal with it as journalists, but why do celebrities' leaked photos get more play than like, something else? That's more of a commentary, not even on media, but it still takes people to read that smut. So it's really quite frustrating, but... ya know?
What was it like working with the great Michael K. Williams?
JR: Amazing! He's been friends with [his character] Ricky Ross for a while. Ricky Ross is friends with a lot of people, that guy. That guy does NOT mess around! (laughs) I think I even spoke with him on the phone, but I don't remember. But he gets around. I love it man, he's ambitious. But yeah he's great, man. A really talented actor, and another lucky get that we got, and this cast is so great. Michael K. is just, amazing.
So how are things looking for the "Bourne Legacy" sequel?
JR: As I know now, Justin Lin is going to do "True Detective". And I've got to go do Mission so, we'll both be busy doing that. And I know they're writing, and they've almost got a script nearly done, so maybe next year but we've got to figure that out. I know Greengrass and Matt Damon are thinking about getting it going again, which is awesome. Because I think that leads to us doing one together in the future.
As far as "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" goes, I know they have you under a pretty strict gag order. We're finding out about all this stuff lately about new characters being introduced like Ms. Marvel, so what's next for Hawkeye?
JR: Well there's a lot more in this next Avengers, which is great. It was fun to finally kind of discover who Clint Barton is a little bit. We have some good secrets revealed. I think everything that was great about the first Avengers, is exponentially expressed in this one. From the action, to the making fun of itself, and there's a lot more time spent with the Avengers together, after being so separated in the first one. We've got some great new goodies, and some good baddies.
Did you see "Guardians Of The Galaxy"?
JR: Yes, it was tremendous.
Would you like to cross paths with that team at some point?
JR: That would be awesome. I think that would be awesome. Of course that's the hopes with the puppeteers behind Marvel, but we'll see, man. We'll see...
"KILL THE MESSENGER" HITS THEATERS ON OCTOBER 10.