After delivering acclaimed performances in ensemble projects like “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town,” Jeremy Renner is poised on the edge of mainstream success, especially given the fact that his next role finds him sharing the screen with Tom Cruise in the highly anticipated sequel, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” But after that, he'll be in a lead role in “The Bourne Legacy,” and Renner told The Playlist that his work in 'Mission: Impossible' more than prepared him for his next action franchise. “Tom [Cruise] has prepared me for, especially ‘Bourne,’ but all of them – ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and then ‘The Avengers,” he said during press rounds this week in Los Angeles.
Renner observed that as the star of an action movie, there’s a lot of pressure to get in shape and then stay that way. “In any professional sport, in America at least, if you get injured or you hurt your knee or whatever, second string comes in,” he said. “But that doesn’t happen on movies, so you can’t get injured. So it’s sort of getting on this really great program to really just — not be in shape, but just to, just prevent injuries. And Tom introduced me to some really great physiotherapists and that sort of thing, to prepare my body for that sort of torture.”
Meanwhile, Renner revealed that he did speak to Matt Damon about passing the 'Bourne' baton, and he similarly advised him to focus on the physical demands of the role. “He’s such a cool, grounded guy that it’s sort of like, how do you give advice to somebody on something,” he confessed. “If anything, he said, just listen to your guys that know what they’re doing. He’s worked with Dan Bradley, who did all the action on all the ‘Bourne’ movies – and he’s actually our Second Unit Director on ‘Mission.’ I was happy to know that he was part of this ‘Bourne’ movie, and he said, ‘just trust that guy.’ ”
“I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, perfect – you don’t have to tell me,’ ” Renner said. “ ’I’ve already worked with him. He’s awesome.' [Damon said,] ‘He’s going to ask you to do some really terrifying things, but you can just trust that it’s all all right.’ ”
When asked for more specifics about how “The Bourne Legacy” will fit into its predecessors, Renner was typically mum, but insisted he wasn’t trying to replace Damon in any way. “We’re in the middle of shooting it, so I can’t say a whole lot about it,” he said. “But what I can clarify, that there’s been some confusion about, that I was taking over for Matt, and there’s no taking over for Matt. Matt Damon will always be Jason Bourne, to that franchise. But the writer [Tony Gilroy] is consistent through them all, the same writer, and he’s also our director on this one. And so for the fan base that likes that type of movie, it’ll be the continuity of that, the pace of it, the way it’s shot, just everything about it, you’ll know it’s a ‘Bourne’ movie. But there’s just going to be different faces.”
“There’s going to be Ed Norton and Rachel Weisz, which are, you know, some of the most talented actors out there,” he continued. “But it’ll be just a different program, and different spies, essentially. But it’ll have that same sort of pace to it.”
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is being released in theaters December 21, 2011.