Last week I got to talk to Jeremy Renner for his upcoming film Wind River. The film marks a new directorial effort from Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water) and follows a wildlife officer (Renner) teaming up with an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate a murder on a Native American reservation. It’s a powerful conclusion to Sheridan’s “frontier trilogy”, and I definitely recommend checking it out when it comes to a theater near you. Click here for my full review from Sundance.
During my conversation with Renner, we talked about what appealed to him about this character, playing someone who has a unique occupation, what it was like filming on location, how shooting an indie like Wind River compares to shooting a blockbuster like the Avengers movies, if there are future plans for his Bourne Legacy character Aaron Cross, if he might return to the Mission: Impossible franchise, breaking his arms while filming the comedy Tag, and much more.
Check out the full interview below. Wind River is now playing in limited release.
JEREMY RENNER: There’s a … I mean initially it was the father aspect of the role and then sort of the essence of the complications of being a very masculine man but being very very very sensitive and very actionable about how he went about things. It was just a complicated character and as well as it was written and so it setup and allowed for me to explore a lot more behavioral stuff with the character. It was … The writing was just fantastic and then it was a very just important story that I really wanted to be a part of.
One of the things that kind of leaped out at me is that sort of Taylor has made kind of like a modern day western. Is that something that appealed to you?
RENNER: Yeah. I love the simplicity in the storytelling. It’s the … Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I never really sort of label anything just in that way but I think thematically I think you can draw those comparisons.
What kind of research did you do for this role because it’s a unique character in terms of his occupation?
RENNER: To understand that job was pretty easy and the skillset behind it was pretty easy to kind of supports just maybe using a lever rifle at a restaurant with that little bit that was newer to me. Working around a snowmobile, getting pretty good on a sled was important, but I think most of the work was just a lot of inner work of how to express and what to withhold ended up being much more withholding emotion than it was expressing it. Or at least capping that stuff. So it was how to deal with loss, how to not deal with loss, how to exist with loss, especially for the young girls in the picture. Those were great challenges for me.