Action hero Renner bounces back after getting injured — while making a comedy
You wouldn’t know it by Jeremy Renner’s plethora of big-budget movie vehicles, but the role of cinematic man of action came about organically rather than consciously.
“I had an ability as an athlete to perform stunts and do that type of stuff,” yet it was important to “still always have a great character,” Renner said.
The veteran of two “Mission: Impossible films” with Tom Cruise (“Ghost Protocol,” “Rogue Nation”), “The Bourne Legacy” and Marvel’s “Avengers” movies leans into more physical comedy with his newest project, “Tag,” which opens in theaters Friday.
In “Tag,” he plays Jerry Pierce, part of a group of friends (played by Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress) who’ve been playing the same game of tag every May for three decades. Although you’d think he’d be more likely to hurt himself in one of his action roles, Renner broke both arms while filming this new comedy, after falling 20 feet from a large stack of chairs while his character is evading a coffee splash and tossing doughnuts like ninja stars.
Question: Jerry’s an interesting character — he isn’t as close as the other friends because he’s so good, he’s never been tagged.
Answer: I love the idea of this guy just being uber-competitive and great at it, whether he’s more headstrong or athletic or whatever the heck it is. The irony is he distances himself from the gang, and the whole point of the game is to get together and love on each other. It became much more of a poignant thing.
Q: When you see the “Tag” scene where you break your arms, do you wince?
A: After production, they said, “Hey, do you want to actually see the fall?” And I’m like, “Uh, no. I’m good.” I have that attitude of you fall down seven times and you stand up eight. I don’t know about 20 feet seven times
(laughs). It was just one time I had to do that.
Q: A lot of fans were very worried about Hawkeye after he was missing from the “Infinity War” marketing, and then when he wasn’t in the movie. Was it cool for you to see how many wondered if he was OK?
A: It’s a nice feeling, I suppose. I think the Russo brothers (Anthony and Joe, who directed) got way too many death threats. I’m like, “Wow, dude, that’s intense. I’m sorry!”
Q: Anything you can say about “Avengers 4,” which comes out next May?
A: Everybody’s got to bite their tongue. But if you like “Infinity War,” there’s some stuff to come. What I do know is it’s going to be awesome.
Jeremy Renner (left) and Jon Hamm co-star in the new comedy “Tag,” opening in theaters Friday.