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The Untold Truth Of Jeremy Renner

On one hand, Jeremy Renner is a totally normal famous guy. 

The Modesto, California, native and ostensible guy's guy cut his Hollywood teeth as a roaming guest star on TV shows and at least one Pink music video in the early '00s. He then graduated to a top-tier action-adventure movie mainstay by the end of the decade, and now, he's the primary actor associated with the superhero persona Hawkeye. 

On the other hand, Jeremy Renner is a weird famous guy. 

The multi-time Oscar nominee has presented himself as a brash, iconoclastic figure in the press ever since breakthrough turns in "28 Weeks Later" and "The Hurt Locker." Despite appearing in prominent roles in major films on a routine basis, he appears genuinely interested in pursuing a second show business career as a rock singer. And, of course, there's that matter of his app...

Let's dig past the surface of Jeremy Renner and see what else we can learn about the man who plays the purple-clad archer.  

There used to be a Jeremy Renner app

A lot of celebrities launched apps in the mid-2010s, and Jeremy Renner certainly wasn't the only one who lacked Kardashian-level fame at the time. (Incidentally, Julian Lennon's app remains available for download as of this writing.) 

We point this out to illustrate that while the genesis of the Jeremy Renner app certainly makes the actor appear a little eccentric, it might not have seemed like a totally insane idea in 2017. Today, the Jeremy Renner app absolutely seems like a totally insane idea, but that's only because of our power of hindsight.  

Sadly, the Jeremy Renner App devolved into a clustermuck of mythic proportions. Folks didn't always comprehend what it was supposed to do or why it should cost money. Its service was prone to glitches and confusing info. Trolls impersonating Renner and potentially-upsetting figures like OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony inundated the service. In 2019, Renner himself pulled the plug.

Sure, the Jeremy Renner app was an embarrassing fiasco — but it's a unique fiasco. Can the Kardashians say there's a hilarious investigative podcast about any of their side ventures?  

He has a lucrative side hustle renovating houses

While we obviously don't have any knowledge of the man's personal finances, it's possible Jeremy Renner doesn't need to continue acting. We can speculate that if Marvel decided to kill off Clint Barton in a brutal, humiliating fashion that prevented Renner from ever being taken seriously as an action star again, he could continue on as a financially prosperous individual. 

Ever since his acting career began generating cash in the early '00s, Renner's cultivated a side business in buying, renovating, and re-selling (a process some folks describe as "flipping") multi-million dollar residences. As of a 2016 Bloomberg report, Renner had purchased and remodeled upwards of 20 houses.

"Every home should have two things: a bar and a really nice bed," Renner told Bloomberg, in a writeup on his relatively unglamorous moonlighting in real estate. "I like to entertain, and having a bar to hang out at is so much better than hanging out in the kitchen."

Jeez — ever hear of a living room, Jeremy Renner?  

Renner once played in a band alongside '90s one-hit wonders

Perhaps too much has already been written about Jeremy Renner's musical endeavors. Some folks are destined for rock 'n roll greatness; other folks are perfectly well-suited to belt out a tune at karaoke or in a commercial for a jeep they're endorsing. That said, the public at large might've responded differently to Renner's 2020 EP "The Medicine" if we knew that, at least as far as his professional chronology goes, he is literally a singer first and an actor second. 

Before Renner caught a break with "S.W.A.T." in 2003, he performed around Hollywood in a rock group called Sons of Ben, which included members of Tonic. You might not immediately recognize the name "Tonic," but you've probably heard the group's 1996's alternative rock hit "If You Could Only See."

"[We] wound up doing a bunch of acoustic gigs around town," Renner told Playboy in a 2015 interview. "It had an Eagles kind of sound but edgier."  

Renner doesn't specify which members of Tonic he worked with, so we don't know for sure if the above picture includes any ex-members of Sons of Ben. If we could only see which musicians from Tonic worked with Jeremy Renner, then maybe we would provide more accurate visual information.

According to his Amazon store, he likes camping ... or does he?

Like a handful of other celebrities, Jeremy Renner has an Amazon store. This store contains fishing gear, a portable cooler, plenty of archery paraphernalia, poison ivy ointment, a flannel shirt, and jeans — all the products necessary for Jeremy Renner, or an individual hoping to emulate Jeremy Renner, to go on an adventure in the great outdoors.  

However, an investigation from Slate raises questions. While not making any assertions about Renner's actual acumen as an outdoorsman, the article does point out that Renner doesn't look like he knows what he's doing while posing with camping gear for his Amazon promotional shots. Renner points his bow and arrow away from its target, and he sits next to a campfire that's surrounded by flammable objects — both obvious safety hazards. Additionally, he holds binoculars without looking through the lenses, rendering their visual distance-reduction capacities completely worthless. 

In fairness, Renner doesn't hunt or fish, which explains why his photo with a reel and rod combo looks a little awkward. Could it be that Renner thrives amongst the mountains but is not accustomed to doing so with the aid of gimmicky accessories? This would appear so. 

Renner has lived near Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Olsen

Out of all the MCU characters, Star-Lord and Hawkeye still have yet to cross paths, but evidently, the offspring of Jeremy Renner and Chris Pratt have spent their fair share of time together. 

A 2017 US Weekly article described Renner and Pratt as "neighbors" and stated that Renner's daughter, Ava — who was 4 years old at the time — was hanging out with Chris Pratt's similarly aged son, Jack, on a regular basis. Elizabeth Olsen — Renner and Pratt's MCU colleague — also lived in the same area of Los Angeles, according to US. 

Since then, Pratt has gone through a widely publicized divorce from then-wife Anna Faris, so they may both have relocated elsewhere. Meanwhile, Renner has described himself in recent interviews as residing in an out-of-the-way spot somewhere nearby Reno, Nevada — although that doesn't necessarily mean he no longer owns the L.A. residence US reported on. 

Whatever the case, we know that at one point, a bunch of MCU actors lived on more or less the same block. We bet that was weird, as living with or nearby your coworkers can sometimes be. 

Jeremy Renner used to work at a mall makeup store

Let's face it — human civilization is insecure about its masculinity. On that note, Jeremy Renner's a guy who plays tough dudes in movies. It just so happens that he once worked as a makeup artist at a Lancôme outlet in a Modesto, California, mall. And numerous Renner profiles have treated this fact as much more interesting and unusual than it actually is. 

According to first episode of The Renner Files (TRF) podcast, his stint with Lancôme took place in the '90s. Back then, the eventual cast member of "Avengers: Endgame" needed a day job to cover basic living essentials between commercial gigs and stage plays. "In the theater, we had to do our own stage makeup," explains Renner, in an interview quoted by TRF. "I figured I could tone it down, and do it on hot girls all day. It wasn't the case. It ended up being older ladies, which was just fine."

He's played at least two serial killers

Nowadays, Jeremy Renner is a guy you call when your movie needs a Han Solo-type of dude — irreverent and rough around the edges but basically well-intentioned. Earlier in his career, Hollywood nudged Renner in a very different direction. At that point, agents and casting directors saw him more in the frequently villainous mold of Jared Leto than as a potential next Harrison Ford.

And here's a little-known fact: "The Avengers" was actually Renner's second collaboration with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" mastermind and "Avengers" director Joss Whedon. As it turns out, Renner played Penn — a vampire and serial killer who terrorizes Los Angeles — in a 2000 episode of the "Buffy" spinoff "Angel." And in 2002, Renner added his first headlining movie role to his resume with the true crime biopic "Dahmer."

If "S.W.A.T." hadn't come along and shifted his career trajectory, Renner might've evolved into the sort actor whose name pops up whenever it's time to cast another Joker. It would seem that even in "What If...?"-style alternate timeline versions of his life, Renner cannot escape comic book movies.  

He got his start as a practice suspect for police trainees to subdue

Not to diminish the accomplishments of Jeremy Renner's MCU contemporaries, but a lot of those folks were born in close proximity to Hollywood stardom. Robert Downey Jr. is obviously the son of the late Robert Downey Sr. Elizabeth Olsen's older sisters were on their way to becoming major TV stars before she was even born. Chris Evans started getting cast to do stuff like be the "Mystery Date" cover boy from the moment he turned 18.

They all faced challenges to get where they're at, of course. But unlike Renner, their journeys certainly do not include allowing California police trainees to beat the snot out of them.  

"This guy comes in and says, 'Hey, you wanna make $50?'" Renner recalled in a 2010 L.A. Times interview, reminiscing about his first-ever paid acting gig. "The job was to help train police academy cadets. They put me in this room the size of a closet and said, 'They've got a call about a guy creating a ruckus. We want you to resist arrest.' 'Got it.' He comes in, 'Calm down, sir.' I start freaking out and kick him in the balls." 

Tom Holland's face might appear on more merchandise, but can he truthfully say he's ever booted a cop in the groin and gotten away with it? Doubtful. 

Jeremy Renner fears nothing

It's routinely reported that Jeremy Renner does his own stunts whenever humanly possible, and he's also never been shy about telling interviewers his attitude about fear. He has what you might call mixed feelings about fear. He's never said he hates it, but he clearly considers it a somewhat overrated instinct. 

"Fear is a huge part of most people's lives," Renner told Playboy in 2015. "It's a very oppressive human emotion, the most powerful human emotion." By the magazine's account, Renner claims he did something scary every day from his early 20s into his early 30s, and the result is a reduced vulnerability to fear. "Like guns, sharks, heights, success, intimacy? I've checked those off the list," he says.

As he has no idea if it's ever helped him on auditions, Renner doesn't credit his supposed ability to neutralize fear for his acting success. But he does say limited vulnerability to fear made him a better actor, in the respect that it allows him to deliver the most honest possible version of his characters.  

He's never been in a fight ... according to his own definition of 'fight'

Jeremy Renner has a pretty specific definition of what counts as a fight — and it's a useful one. 

In a 2015 interview, he told Playboy that he's never been in a "real physical fight," but he elaborates that a handful of hostile nightlife encounters have forced him to render — or should we say "Renner?" — multiple attackers unconscious.  

"A guy got really drunk and pushed Julia Stiles, my co-star [in the 2005 movie A Little Trip to Heaven]," he said. "I kindly choked him out and remedied the situation. I've also had to choke people out because they pushed my mom or knocked my sister down, but I've never felt like a badass."

Renner doesn't consider situations where he simply grabs hostile individuals in headlocks and puts them to sleep "fights," and due to the absence of face-to-face punches and kicks, maybe he has a point. Based on the Playboy article, he seems to think defusing a violent situation quickly and painlessly is much more important than impressing strangers with your macho bona fides. 

He once played Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz

"The Wizard of Oz" is a very popular story. Stage adaptations the 1900 L. Frank Baum novel — or, more precisely, the 1939 Judy Garland film most often associated with the tale and title — are not at all uncommon. 

So, chances are good that plenty of very famous actors played one "Wizard of Oz" character or another during the early phase of their career. And one Jeremy Renner got to dance his way down the Yellow Brick Road as the Scarecrow in a Modesto junior college production of the beloved musical. And yeah, that means Hawkeye actually got to belt out "If I Only Had a Brain." 

"[That was] the first play I invited my family to come see what I was doing — acting, singing, and dancing in front of 1,500 people," Renner told Playboy in 2015, indicating that he reflects proudly on his tenure in the wonderful world of Oz.

Sometimes, Renner wears his Hawkeye costume while volunteering

To be clear, we think it's unlikely that Jeremy Renner will ever completely freak out, convince himself that he truly is Clint Barton, and get picked up by law enforcement after a period of wandering around the Nevada desert shooting arrows at HYDRA agents only he can see. But if it ever comes to that, at least he's got the outfit handy. 

During a 2021 Jimmy Kimmel appearance, Renner said he never left any Marvel movie set with props as souvenirs, having been instructed not to do that. Later, he found out the rest of the "Avengers" main cast just took whatever they felt like whenever they wanted. In fact, Chris Hemsworth owns multiple Mjölnirs and keeps the ill-gotten magic hammers scattered around his house. 

After learning this, Renner helped himself to a Hawkeye costume. Today, when Jeremy Renner volunteers at his daughter's elementary school, he does so in full-on Hawkeye regalia — which is adorable but probably extremely confusing for her classmates who do not yet fully understand the distinction between movies and reality. 

He broke both his arms while making Tag

You can question a lot of things about Jeremy Renner, but you can never say he's not dedicated to his craft.

As is widely reported, Renner prefers to do his own stunts. Sometimes, that winds up looking like a poor choice. According to Vanity Fair, a scene for the 2018 movie "Tag" took a disastrous turn that subjected Renner to a 20-foot fall and a pile of broken bones.

Maybe he's immune to pain as well as fear. Perhaps, more plausibly, the fall sent him into a numbing state of shock. But in either case, Renner broke both his arms, didn't notice, and agreed to do another take of the same stunt before heading over to the hospital. 

"They said [the arms were] broken, so I got them wrapped up, and then I went back to work and did everything I could do to continue on as we did," he old Vanity Fair. In this instance, continuing on meant the special effects department had to go the extra mile and provide Renner with CG limbs to fill in for his temporarily immobilized arms.   

There's some extremely obvious irony afoot here. Naturally, Renner would make it through multiple "Mission Impossible" and "Avengers" productions, only to be nearly destroyed on the set of a lighthearted, slapstick comedy about adult male friendship.  

His production company's been working on a Steve McQueen biopic for a seriously long time

Directly comparing Jeremy Renner to BoJack Horseman doesn't make a ton of sense. The premise of Bojack's eponymous Netflix series is he's a washed-up '90s sitcom actor. Meanwhile, Renner stars in two major TV series — "Hawkeye" on Disney+ and "Mayor of Kingstown" on Paramount+. 

But just as Bojack dreams of redeeming his artistic credibility by starring in a biopic about the record-breaking stallion Secretariat, Renner and his production company have been developing a biopic about Steve McQueen — the actor known for films like "Bullitt" and "The Great Escape" — for ages. In 2019, Buzzfeed reported that the progress remains ongoing, and at least one version of the script exists, according to an old interview.  

"I'd like to explore his life as human being because nobody knew him as a person," Renner told Sharpformen.com in 2012 (via JLR.com), adding "[Steve McQueen] was a walking paradox, a dichotomy: the most masculine and powerful man you could probably meet and, at the same time, very insecure. I want to dive into who he was."

For a gnarly action dude like Renner, it sounds like a dream role.