Secret Agent. Master Thief. Treadstone Operative. Witch Hunter. Bomb Disposal Expert. Jeremy Renner has been a staple of thrillers for the better part of the last ten years. He's been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, traveled to Afghanistan as a United Nations Goodwill Peace Ambassador, and still finds time to renovate and restore homes in Los Angeles. He's gone from theater and commercial roles to being a major component of multiple blockbuster franchises. Renner has the resume' of a cinematic titan and remains one of the most grounded people in the business.
Renner grew up in Modesto, California as the oldest of five. His parents, Lee and Valerie Renner, managed a bowling alley. Their divorce when Jeremy was 10 impacted him, and when he began acting he often created characters that allowed him to express his feelings, something that he did not feel free to do at home. The result was that he quickly honed his skill for portraying intense and emotional characters. He stumbled upon theater in college while he was major-hopping between such fields as criminology and computer science. In 1993 he moved to Los Angeles to act in theater. During this time he made his film debut in 1995's National Lampoon's Senior Trip. Over the next several years he appeared in shows like The Net and Angel, and in 2001 he played a hardened criminal in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
In 2002 Renner gave an intense, complicated performance as the title character in Dahmer. Over the next few years he starred in several films, including S.W.A.T. officer turned criminal Brian Gamble in S.W.A.T....
...white supremacist Ned in Neo Ned, a quick appearance as Emile Hirsch's character's manager in Lords of Dogtown, and had supporting roles in 12 and Holding and North Country, both of which were released in 2005. In 2007 he received accolades for his performance in Take, played the lead in the popular horror film 28 Weeks Later...
...and starred alongside Brad Pitt and Sam Rockwell in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. But it was his complex portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in 2002 that caught the eye of director Kathryn Bigelow, and was cast in The Hurt Locker, which received the Best Picture Award at the Academy Awards in 2010. Renner was nominated for the award of Best Actor for his portrayal of bomb squad member Sergeant First Class William James.
In 2009 Renner starred as Detective Jason Walsh in the single season of comedic drama The Unusuals, and the next year as loyal bank robber James Coughlin in Ben Affleck's The Town. He then landed the role of analyst/secret agent William Brandt in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which was released in 2011. However his most important performance of 2011 came in the form of a quick cameo.
A Hero Is Made
In 2011 Marvel's cinematic universe was rapidly gaining new movies characters. Earlier that year Captain America: The First Avenger had been released, and with the announcement of an Avengers movie to be released in 2012, giddily excited fans were debating exactly which members of the team would be featured in the movie. In 2011's Thor the world got a glimpse of S.H.I.E.L.D. operative and master archer Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye.
Hawkeye was featured as one of the six members of the Avengers in Joss Whedon's record-shattering The Avengers in 2012. The pairing of an archer with limited ammunition alongside a demigod, genius weapons developer, legendary spy and two superhumans led to the creation of a humorous meme that portrays Hawkeye as the human equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.
Now Hawkeye spent a good portion of the movie under the control of Asgardian trickster Loki, but he was rescued in time for the Battle of New York, showcasing the complete skill set of the adept agent.
Since his debut as Hawkeye, Renner has been very busy. He starred in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (a unique take on a popular fairy tale), took up the mantle of the Treadstone operative in The Bourne Legacy, portrayed political operator and mayor Carmine Polito in American Hustle, and played the role of journalist Gary Webb in Kill the Messenger. He also had a guest role on acclaimed comedy Louie and narrated the History Channel's miniseries The World Wars. He will be reprising his roles in three upcoming sequels of popular franchises over the next two years: William Brandt in Mission: Impossible 5, Aaron Cross in The Bourne Betrayal, and Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Many fans expressed their displeasure with the lack of involvement Hawkeye had with his fellow Avengers in The Avengers, but thankfully the sequel has been rumored to be placing a large amount of focus on Hulk and Hawkeye.
What is your favorite Jeremy Renner film? Which movie would you like to see next? Are you looking forward to his upcoming films, namely Avengers: Age of Ultron? Sound off in the comments, and thanks for reading!