MACAU | After gracing the opening of the 2nd International Film Festival & Awards Macao last December 8 as one of its Talent Ambassadors, American actor Jeremy Renner faced members of the international media the following day.
Not surprisingly, many of the questions were related to his much-anticipated film “Avengers: Infinity War” where he reprises his role as the arrow-slinging Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye.
“I can’t tell you much about it. But there’s a lot of wonderful changes that are happening in these next two [Avengers] films. ‘Avengers 4’ is currently still shooting, but I guarantee you it’s going to be one of the bigger movies that’s going to be released. And I’m very excited for a lot of fans,” shared the two-time Academy award nominee.
Sporting a new, semi-mohawk hairstyle, the actor was then asked what he thought about the rumored “Black Widow” solo movie starring Scarlett Johansson. Renner’s reply was very generous towards his “Avengers” co-star.
“Am I jealous? No, I’m excited if and when it ever comes to fruition. She [Scarlett] is amazing, she’s a kick-ass mother, she’s a wonderful actress, and I think she deserves her own movie and I want to see it. But that’s not for me to say. I don’t run Marvel, and I’m not [Marvel president] Kevin Feige,” Renner noted.
As for the prospects of his own Hawkeye solo movie, Renner reiterated his desire to do it, which he expressed three years ago.
“If asked, I think it would be a wonderful thing to do. I love the character. I’ve been doing it for the last eight years. I think it would be an honor to explore Clint Barton more, but that’s not on the table as far as I know. If anybody else knows, I’ll call my agent. I’m in. [But] I don’t want to wait too long. I don’t want to be in my 50s wearing tights,” said the actor, who is now 46.
Renner was also asked about “Wind River,” his recently acclaimed film that was the subject of a controversy involving the removal of The Weinstein Company logo from the credits for its home media release in the fallout of the sexual abuse controversy involving disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Last year, Weinstein’s company, which later fired him following the scandal, acquired the distribution rights to the independently produced film. “Wind River” was financed by native American tribes because of what Renner describes as the film’s “realistic representation of the life in the reservation in today’s modern society.”
Inspired by true stories of sexual abuse of women in the American Indian reservation, Renner considers “Wind River” as “a personal film…probably one of the most important, special movies that I’ve ever done.” Nonetheless, he admitted that at one point people involved in the film considered taking off their names in the credits following the scandal involving Weinstein.
“[It was] either walk away from it or capture the film back. Happily we captured the film back and now we have a bigger voice for what the movie means.”
Responding to a question about the #MeToo campaign that snowballed in the wake of the sexual abuse allegations involving powerful Hollywood figures including several of his fellow actors, Renner revealed that he is part of a family with “a bunch of women” and is therefore always supportive of the opposite sex.
Citing his involvement with the acclaimed film “Arrival,” Renner said he chose to be part of it because he wanted to support a film where the lead, played by his good friend Amy Adams, is “a superhero because of her mind, her compassion and her heart.”
Because of his work as an actor, Renner said he has traveled to a lot of places, whether on location for his film’s shoots or as an invited guest for film festivals like the IFFAM, where he was honored with the Macau East West Actor of the Year award during the opening ceremony.
Asked by InterAksyon about his fondest memories of the places he had visited, Renner cited his experience in the Philippines where he did “The Bourne Legacy” in 2012 as an example.
“The Philippines is a place that is defined heavily by its people. The attitudes, the smiles and the joy, the graciousness, the love and the generosity that comes from the Filipino people. From those in extreme poverty to those with wealth, everyone is just wonderfully giving and generous. That sticks with me,” he pointed out.
As for China, Renner said that like the Philippines, it is also a place that is very much defined by its people.
“This is my first time in Macau but I’ve been to Hong Kong, Beijing and mainland China. I’m always amazed coming to China [because] when I see the efficiency of people at work here, it just boggles my mind how we ever get things done in America. I’ve had really wonderful experiences in Asia and I can’t wait to explore more parts of it,” he concluded.
Watch excerpts of Jeremy Renner’s press conference in Macau as shared by Indian film critic and entertainment writer Rajeev Masand here: