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Interview Watch: Brutal Honesty from Jeremy Renner, Streep & Coen Talk Film in China, Knightley on Dangerous Method & Anna Karenina

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 22, 2011 at 1:08PM

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:
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Jeremy Renner, Details
DETAILS

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:

“Building a house is like producing a movie. There’s no right way to do it, but a lot of wrong ways. You have to be flexible and creative. You have to move fast, be prepared—or it quickly becomes costly. These sound like life lessons. It certainly affected how I approach my life.”
 

Here's more from the DETAILS interview.

While in China for the Asia Society and Aspen Institute's arts and culture forum, stars including Meryl Streep and Joel Coen showed their films ("The Iron Lady" and "True Grit," respectively) and spoke with Chinese film students. Streep told them: "For me, filmmaking is a very personal investigation and an attempt to understand something about living and being alive.” Coen voiced the doubts that plague him and brother Ethan while filmmaking; "There is a point in every production where you say, ‘I want to get into a warm tub and open up my veins.’” You can watch the video here.

Interview got "A Dangerous Method" star Keira Knightley to gush, basically. What attracted her to the film? "Everything." On director David Cronenberg: "He's like a horse whisperer: you don't quite know how he's doing it, or what exactly he's doing, but you know that it's happening. You know, he just creates the most extraordinary atmosphere on set"; and co-star Michael Fassbender: "Michael is just fucking extraordinary." Many will be taken aback by Knightley's balls-out performance, but she believes it's less extreme than what it would have been in reality; here's more.

As for Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," which Knightley is currently shooting, it is a "very, very stylized version" of the classic Tolstoy story. She admits that Tolstoy's character is tricky: "I read [the book again] over the summer, and thought, 'Wow. Sometimes Tolstoy actually hates her quite a lot. Is she the heroine or the anti-heroine?' It's an interesting thing, with all of us, we're sort of grappling with those ideas."

On her co-star in the upcoming "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World": "I love Steve Carell; he is one of the most loveliest men on earth. What's the story about? "The end of everything."

This article is related to: News, Interviews , Headliners, IN THE WORKS, Keira Knightley, Meryl Streep, Directors, Coens, David Cronenberg


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.