Jeremy Renner talks about sacrifices made to act


Action star Jeremy Renner is featured the cover of the latest issue of Details, and he talks openly about scraping by while he was building his acting resume.

Renner had two decades of struggle, until finally the intense, hard-working actor burst onto the scene in 2008’s The Hurt Locker. 

Now the two-time Academy Award nominee is getting some action—and a place on Hollywood’s A-list with mega-budget movies like The Avengers and Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol.

But that doesn’t mean he’s about to give up his construction business. 

Renner excerpts are posted below for the cover story of the magazine’s December/January issue, which features photos of the actor by Norman Jean Roy.  The issue hits stands nationwide on November 29.

On how the hands-on physicality of rebuilding houses compares to filmmaking:

JR: “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.”

On fixing up old houses while he waited for roles that mattered to him earlier in his career…

JR: “I wasn’t super-happy being so poor. Eating on $10 a month—probably not very good for you. But I loved what I was doing. Not every actor gives their life to do this job. Some just do it as a job. Well, it’s my life.”

On dating…

JR: “I never dated, because I couldn’t afford to date. I didn’t even have electricity. You try to put a positive spin on it, like, ‘Hey, this is so sexy—look at all these candles!’ But I loved what I was doing. The sacrifices I made in personal relationships had the biggest effect on my life. Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.”

On his film roles:

JR: “I’m blessed to have cool roles in these big movies. Because nothing against Transformers, but thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.”

On unwanted attention and celebrity culture:

JR:  “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit. Build ‘em up to bring ‘em down? I’m not going on that train, my son. I’m not going on that train. I’ll walk. I’ll take a bike. [Renner laughs.] I’d rather just not be popular.”

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