Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Steven Soderbergh Re-Scores And Changes Steven Spielberg's 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' To Black-And-White Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Jeremy Renner Talks James Gray's Period Pic 'Low Life' & Reveals Developing Steve McQueen Biopic Will Go Beyond What You Already Know

The Playlist By Todd Gilchrist | The Playlist November 30, 2011 at 10:07AM

With “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “The Avengers” scheduled for release in the next year, A-list stardom seems inevitable for Jeremy Renner. But the actor, who made his name in independent and ensemble projects like “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town,” insists that he is interested in a wide variety of opportunities, not just the ones with the biggest box office potential. Speaking to The Playlist during press rounds for 'Mission: Impossible,' Renner explained he’s eager to start work on a project co-written and directed by James Gray, first announced over the summer.
0
Jeremy Renner

With “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “The Avengers” scheduled for release in the next year, A-list stardom seems inevitable for Jeremy Renner. But the actor, who made his name in independent and ensemble projects like “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town,” insists that he is interested in a wide variety of opportunities, not just the ones with the biggest box office potential. Speaking to The Playlist during press rounds for 'Mission: Impossible,' Renner explained he’s eager to start work on a project co-written and directed by James Gray, first announced over the summer.

“What a great opportunity,” Renner said Monday. “I mean, it’s an amazing story. And I do it such injustice by giving it three words, but it’s James Gray, man, and it’s Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix, some of the best talent out there.” He indicated that part of its appeal is that its content is different than the action-oriented projects he’s currently undertaking. “It’s not an action movie, which at this point, from where I’m sitting, is kind of a nice thing; I can actually take a break on my body, and just focus on just work, and the character and stuff.”

Renner indicated it was also a film that doesn’t demand the same sort of production time and machinery of some of his current ones. “That’s refreshing, and to work with that caliber of talent is really exciting,” he said, going on to reveal that his character is not necessarily a lead. “And it’s a small role - it’s something we can shoot in a very short amount of time. There’s a pimp and a whore and a magician, and I get to play the magician, in a really cool, early 1900’s immigration movie - Ellis Island.” Another project Renner has been associated with is a biopic about Steve McQueen – the iconic American actor, not the British artist and filmmaker – also written by James Gray. Other than McQueen being the coolest human being who ever lived, Renner indicated that the project appealed to him because he has an active hand in putting it together. “I’m involved in developing it,” he said.

“It happened because a script came around and they asked maybe if I wanted to look at it and potentially maybe play him,” Renner explained. “I thought it’s interesting, and obviously, I loved his movies, [but] I wouldn’t say like I was a massive fan of him, by any means. I’ve seen probably like three of his movies. But then as it came around and I started to study him more and realized wow, what a dichotomy of a human being.”

Renner said that the script explored both sides of McQueen’s personality, but he wanted the film to get inside his head, not just recap his accomplishments or document what most of his fans already know about him. “He’s really, really interesting, outside of what most know him as, like you just said, the King of Cool or the coolest human being that ever lived or whatever it is. But he was also the most insecure guy that ever lived, and all these other things that undercut what we know him as. So that was really interesting to me - I mean, I don’t care if that’s a fictitious character or if that’s a real person. I thought the script was just sort of a retelling of what everybody already knows about him. So I thought, that’s really kind of boring and didn’t do him justice.”

“So that’s why we’re developing this thing,” he continued. “For instance, there’s a photo of him where a butcher in the shop is bandaging up his hand. And the movie set’s around the corner, and he’s just preparing to do a stunt, or just did the stunt of the famous bike jump - or whatever the heck it was. But everybody knows about whatever that stunt is. So why talk about that? I want to know what that conversation was between that butcher and McQueen in that butcher shop.” Renner indicated that Gray is still developing the film, but he said that they’re aiming for a story that balances his public and private lives. “I mean, you can’t avoid that, but I’d rather have [his career] be the backdrop of his life, and to see what is it like to walk into a room and everybody stares at you because they know exactly who you are. Not a lot of people know what that feels like. So let’s let people into that world. I think an inside sort of look into his life as a human being could be fascinating, so that’s what we’re exploring.

Meanwhile, Renner said he hasn’t seen the script, but admitted that it’s intimidating to think of stepping into McQueen’s shoes. “I’m already imaging it to be almost impossible,” he confessed. “But I’d love to take on the challenge. It’d be an honor.”

"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" opens on December 21st.

This article is related to: Jeremy Renner, The Immigrant


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates