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Jeremy Renner Age Of Ultron Inteview

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When Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye hits the big screen again in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” audiences will learn a lot more about him. Hawkeye spent most of Marvel’s “The Avengers” in a Loki-induced hypnotic state but this time around he is standing toe-to-toe with the rest of the team and his character deepens as the story unfolds. Renner comments, “It was really cool to be able to explore Hawkeye’s human side and that was my main attraction to doing Hawkeye in the first place because he’s a character that is human and he’s flawed and has limitations.”
The expanded look into Hawkeye’s personality and background also means different relationships with the other members of The Avengers team. Renner comments on Hawkeye’s relationship with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man, saying,  “It’s a little different now after exploring a little bit about Hawkeye’s past in the last one. This one is deepening their relationship a little further. With Hawkeye and Stark there’s a lot more to explore and Downey’s just a ton of fun to work with. He knows how to keep it alive and fresh and you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. I like that.”
As far as the team dynamic goes on and off the set, Renner says, “None of us Avengers get along that well and that’s a really great thing; it’s a dysfunctional family. But off set we do all get along very well and the cast has probably been the best part of making these movies. In this one we’re together a lot, which is great for us but terrible for Joss Whedon because it’s tough to wrangle 10 crazy actors that love each other and just want to talk. It’s like kindergarten class. He literally has to whistle to get our attention. Ritalin just needs to be served at lunch. But it’s been a lot more fun and connective tissue with us off set and on set because we had a lot more to do in this together.”
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” pits a new villain against Renner and the other Avengers: Ultron, played by James Spader. Renner believes that Spader has brought weight, character and humanity to the role of Ultron. “He has that 14-year-old-boy temper tantrum-ish thing that he brought to it and his regality counterbalances that,” informs Renner. “He is really, really great. He humanized something that’s really not human.”
In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Hawkeye gets some exciting upgrades to his weapon of choice—the bow and arrow. “There are different tips on the arrows and Hawkeye can do a lot of things with the different tips,” offers Renner. “Some of those are explained. Some of them are not. Some of them are just shown. I give a good one to Scarlet Witch. It’s sort of like a taser and that’s a Stark thing. Then there’s the repeater, which has like 10 arrows inside of it, so I don’t have to constantly pull. Sometimes I don’t use the bow at all; I just use the arrows and stab robots.”
One of the elements of making the movie that Renner enjoyed the most was the stunt work. “I feel like I can contribute a lot to that,” says the actor. “I come up with different ideas and that’s where Joss [Whedon] lets me go. He doesn’t tell me how to shoot a bow and arrow and what to do. So anything that pertains to stunts has scratched the creative bone for me.”
Although the stunts were Renner’s thing, he does admit that one particular scene in which Hawkeye gets to reveal his personality stands out. “I enjoyed the scene I had with Scarlet Witch because it’s the first time that Hawkeye really speaks like a real person,” explains Renner. “We played around with the scene to see his sense of humor and if he’s irreverent or wry or whatever and tried to come up with that, so that was fun. I really enjoyed that bit.”
Describing Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Renner says, “Everything that worked in the first movie is just exponentially better in this one. The relationships are not better in a sense; they’re just deeper and there’s more to go. The bad guys, again not better, just different. The stunts are crazy. It’s a bigger, bigger world and there are more new characters and a lot of spinning plates in this.”
Renner adds, “What I loved about the first one when I saw it was that it didn’t take itself too seriously. That’s why I think it crossed a line from just fans and fan boys to a broader audience—my parents loved it. They truly just loved it because it made sense to people, I suppose. So there’s great humanity and a little wink to things and there’s a joke to things, which I love, and that’s a lot of Joss Whedon, for sure.”


Q&A FOLLOWS:


Q: How did Joss Whedon let you know that Hawkeye would have a much bigger role in this film?
A: It was very early on, well before there was really a script. I saw Joss at a party randomly and he said that pretty much all the things we talked about doing in the first one are going in here but with a different twist. Joss and I both really love the character and we didn’t really get to explore him very much in the first movie. In this one it was really cool to be able to explore that human side and that was my main attraction to doing Hawkeye in the first place because he’s a character that is human and he’s flawed and has limitations.


Q: What is it like to be working with a group you know so well?
A: I certainly don’t know if gelling is the right word because you know none of us Avengers get along that well and that’s a really great thing; it’s a dysfunctional family. But off set we do all get along very well and the cast probably has been the best part of making these movies. In the first one I didn’t see Robert Downey Jr. but twice and that was in passing. All I saw was Scarlett Johansson and then a little bit of Tom Hiddleston. Otherwise I was off by myself being hypnotized. In this one we’re together a lot, which is great for us but terrible for Joss because it’s tough to wrangle 10 crazy actors that love each other and just want to talk. It’s like kindergarten class. He literally has to whistle to get our attention. Ritalin just needs to be served at lunch. But it’s been a lot more fun and connective tissue with us off set and on set because we had a lot more to do in this together.


Q: What is Hawkeye’s relationship with Tony Stark?
A: It’s a little different now after exploring a little bit about Hawkeye’s past in the last one. This one is deepening their relationship a little further. With Hawkeye and Stark there’s a lot more to explore and Downey’s just a ton of fun to work with. He knows how to keep it alive and fresh and you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. I like that.


Q: How is it to shoot in real environments?
A: For me as an actor and then also for my character, it’s a lot easier when you have all the practical settings around you versus a tennis ball on a green screen. It becomes a little bit more like something’s real when you’re shooting an arrow at it. When we were in Italy, in the Alps, the landscape was actually too beautiful. They’re actually going to have to green screen the beautiful part of being in Italy out and then like make it more like a war torn town to fit the story. But for the most part we used a lot of practical set pieces. The guys who came in and made it look beat up really did a wonderful job. There are some cool things going on there and the clock tower is really cool.


Q: What does Spader bring to the role of Ultron?
A: James Spader brings a lot of weight and a lot of character and humanity to the role.  He has that 14-year-old-boy temper tantrum-ish thing that he brought to it and his regality counterbalances that. He is really, really great. He humanized something that’s really not human.


Q: How is it working with Joss Whedon this time around?
A: Joss is the man with the answers. He’s the man with the plan. I try not to rock the boat. He’s got it all figured out and I trust that. I just follow what he needs and all I know is if I get a smile on Joss’s face, it’s a job well done. We have really good nonverbal communication and it’s just that. It’s great having a good relationship with him and just trusting him. I know he trusts his actors and he trusts me and I want to make it the best it can be.


Q: Hawkeye has some upgrades in this film. Can you tell us about that?
A: We have some new tech and it’s a lot of Stark tech. There are different tips on the arrows and Hawkeye can do a lot of things with the different tips. Some of those are explained. Some of them are not. Some of them are just shown. I give a good one to Scarlet Witch. It’s sort of like a taser and that’s a Stark thing, I guess. Then there’s the repeater, which has like 10 arrows inside of it, so I don’t have to constantly pull. Sometimes I don’t use the bow at all; I just use the arrows and stab robots.


Q: Did they make the bow this time for a left-handed person?
A: I’m left handed so it means your bow is in your right hand. They actually had that in the last one as well. In “Thor” they had it as right-handed but they flipped it after that. The bow’s a little bit more of a traditional bow. They fooled with it a little bit too much for me last time because the handle was really hard to grip, so it kept flying out of my hand and gave me tendonitis but they made this one a little more proper and easier. I don’t think the look of it is that much different.


Q: What have been your favorite things to shoot?
A: I enjoyed the scene around the hammer, which was the party scene. I really enjoyed that because that had nothing to do with tech or lingo or anything. There was just The Avengers hanging out.
Other than that, it’s been the stunt work. It’s a lot of fun. I feel like I can contribute a lot to that. I come up with different ideas and that’s where Joss lets me go. He doesn’t tell me how to shoot a bow and arrow and what to do. So anything that pertains to stunts has scratched the creative bone for me. When it came to anything else I just had to help serve this giant story but I enjoyed the scene I had with Scarlet Witch because it’s the first time that Hawkeye really speaks like a real person. We played around with the scene to see his sense of humor and if he’s irreverent or wry or whatever and tried to come up with that, so that was fun. I really enjoyed that bit.


Q: How do you decide what stunts you’re going to do and which stunts you’ll skip?
A: I’ll go through it with some of the stunt guys just to be with a human because in this I’m fighting air, so they have to put in something. So half the time I’m talking more to visual effects than I’m talking to anyone else just to let them know when I’m doing this and when I’m doing that. Like I’m spinning it to get the arrow tip to the right direction to stab here and then I’m throwing him here. I have to really communicate those things, which is a whole other weird part of the stunt aspect in this movie. But I do enjoy it because you can get really creative. What I really want to do, which I probably couldn’t do physically, I can say. For instance, if I really had to pull out two arrows and spin them around I’d be doing a lot of takes. So it actually helps me look a little bit cooler than I actually could be.


Q: How is this movie going to be different from the first one?
A: It’s really simple. Everything that worked in the first movie is just exponentially better in this one. The relationships are not better in a sense; they’re just deeper. There’s more to go. The bad guys, again not better, just different. The stunts are crazy. It’s a bigger, bigger world and there are more new characters and a lot of spinning plates in this. What I loved about the first one when I saw it was that it didn’t take itself too seriously. That’s why I think it crossed a line from just fans and fan boys to a broader audience—my parents loved it. They truly just loved it because it made sense to people, I suppose. So there’s great humanity and a little wink to things and there’s a joke to things, which I love, and that’s a lot of Joss, for sure.


Q: Talk about the new Quinjet.
A: This one is full on.  We have quite a few scenes in there with all The Avengers, so it’s not just flying around. It’s a really impressive set. It’s just cool. Everything’s just right there— every blinking light, everything, impressive.

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The Movie Bit: Jeremy Renner Age Of Ultron Inteview
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