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"Arrival": Jeremy Renner Talks Friendship with Amy Adams and Being a Franchise Man (Winnipeg Sun)

LOS ANGELES — Friendship isn’t something you hear a lot about in Hollywood.

So it’s refreshing to talk to Jeremy Renner, 45, about his role in the sci-fi drama Arrival, a part he took for all the right reasons — but mostly because of his friendship with co-star Amy Adams.

The two also worked together in 2013’s American Hustle.

In Arrival, which opens Friday, Renner and Adams are part of a team attempting to communicate with aliens who have landed on earth. He’s a scientist; she’s a linguist. The film (based on Ted Chiang’s novella, Story of Your Life) centres on Adams’ character and the changes she undergoes in her thinking as she begins to learn the aliens’ language.

Deciphering the extra-terrestrials’ intentions may be the difference between peace and global destruction.

Since being Oscar nominated for The Hurt Locker (2008) and again for The Town (2010), Renner has managed a career that moves between massive franchise movies and smaller indie fare.

A singer/songwriter and musician as well as an actor and producer, Renner is also known for his work renovating and restoring grand Los Angeles properties.

We had the chance to ask him a few questions earlier this week.

The producers of Arrival say you took this supporting role because of your friendship with Amy Adams. Can you comment on that?

Yeah, definitely because of Amy. I love the script, and I’m a big fan of Denis [Villeneuve, the director] and I loved everyone involved … It was important to me because I did love the script so much. It affected me as a parent. And knowing Amy so well, it’s a strong female role for a very good friend of mine. I was happy to support her in that and glad to be around a lot of people I got to learn from on a daily basis.


You’ve got substantial roles in Bourne, Mission Impossible and The Avengers. What’s it like to be in three big franchises?

It’s not really about the franchises, but the good thing about a successful franchise is you have a good idea you might have a job in the future. [Laughs] That’s the thing that’s always uncertain for actors or anyone in the film business. But I wouldn’t have said yes to any of them unless I believed in the character I was doing. And always, I need to feel I can contribute something to these things… also, it’s pretty much guaranteed that people are going to see the movie. I’ve done a lot of movies and worked my ass off on smaller movies that nobody ever got to see. And it’s a lot of time and work and effort, even doing something you love, you kind of want people to see it. And of course there are a lot of opportunities involved in doing those big movies — now people see me as a big action star. [Laughs]


You don’t see yourself that way?

That’s not really what I am and never where I was, but can I do them? Sure. Yeah. I was an athlete at school, I can do them. But then I get viewed as an action star. Okay, fine, but you can’t limit me to that, and I won’t let people limit me to any one thing. So here I am playing a mathematician physicist, let alone the guy in The Town, or serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer or Hawkeye or this or that. I guess people see me mostly as Hawkeye.


So then you must get approached by kids a lot?

That’s the greatest thing about losing anonymity in a global way: kids! You just can’t beat it — inspiring them, making them light up. Cause they make me light up. I’ll do anything for a little kid.

It’s their parents that can be the problem — [Laughs] ‘Look, put your phone down, sir, we’re in a urinal,’ — but kids, I’ll do anything for them. It’s been a wonderful gift.”


You’ve taken some heat for your sense of humour and for being outspoken. Does being a celebrity mean you have to edit yourself?

You can edit yourself all the time, and be this whitewashed version of yourself. I’m not a politician. I can be perceived as a role model. I’m an actor. I’m a man. I’m defined by this and this only. I’ll always be the same in front of you, or Obama, or a homeless person: I’ll always be honest, I’ll always be inappropriate, I’ll always be who I am, all the time. Unapologetically.

I still love doing what I’m doing. I’m just trying to create a bit more balance among my time and work time and supporting a movie time.

Just trying to make a balance.


Source: Liz Braun at The Winnipeg Sun

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