Jeremy Renner won't be making it home for Thanksgiving, but he's hardly complaining. He's currently hanging in Dubai with Tom Cruise as the duo shoots the next "Mission: Impossible." Such is life for this new Hollywood breakout star.
Following his Oscar-nominated turn in "The Hurt Locker," the 39-year-old actor nabbed that meaty role in "Mission," as well as the part of Hawkeye in "The Avengers." Impressive stuff.
That's why MTV News is honoring Renner as one of the people we're most thankful for in 2010. We recently chatted up the actor about "Mission: Impossible" and the projects on his plate these days, but we also dived a bit more deeply into "Avengers," as Renner discussed his ideas for Hawkeye and why he's been texting co-star Robert Downey Jr.
In fact, we started talking about "Avengers" almost as soon as Renner called us up from Dubai. "I was just texting with Downey before I called you," he said.
Downey had recently told us he'd read the "Avengers" script and that the movie is "going to be fantastic." Has Renner himself gotten ahold of the script? Were the two actors exchanging notes, with one of them stationed in the Mideast and the other shooting "Sherlock Holmes 2" in the UK?
"I have not [read the script], and that's what I was chatting about," he said of those texts. "Feeling it out, saying hi, and seeing how he's doing on 'Sherlock.' Just touching base with my bud."
While Renner has not yet read writer/director Joss Whedon's script, he said it's the first time he tries on Hawkeye's costume that everything will begin to feel real — maybe a little too real.
"That's when I'll feel, 'Oh, I'm really going to have to start working out,'" he laughed.
However, the actor did say he's been reading up on his character and has got some strong ideas about where he wants to take the superhero.
"I don't know a lot about the Hawkeye character, but I've been digging around a bit and there are things from his past I think I could play out physically," he said. "I have a few ideas of certain styles of training I want to do for that character. Bow-and-arrow stuff is the obvious one. I think I'm going to have to do some lifting for that. I'm curious to hear what Joss and the Marvel guys think about when I run a few ideas by them."
There's been much speculation about which version of Clint Barton Renner will play — the classic version where he's a criminal-turned-hero or the Ultimate universe version in which Hawkeye is a government agent who joins the Avengers — but at this point, Renner is unsure which origin story his character will have.
"We didn't get into any of that," he said of his conversations with Whedon. "What I do know, I can't really discuss, because who know if it's still true — he could take it a whole other direction. I'm just as curious as you are."
At this point, though, he remains somewhat in the dark. The "Avengers" gang met in the summer for a spirited creative meeting before heading off to shoot other projects. Renner is thankful, though, that "Avengers" remains a highly collaborative film.
"We did a creative meeting with everyone months ago before everyone took off," he said. "We met with Joss and the cast and Marvel, just in terms of the script and where we want it to go. It was a little pow-wow. It feels like a very collaborative effort. Right now we're off and dividing and conquering, but soon we'll link up and get the rest of the guys and work on that. I'm very thankful for everyone I get to work with. It's a tremendous time in my life."
What do you want to see Renner's bring to the part of Hawkeye? Tell us what you think in the comments and on Twitter!