Hawkeye ‘has the best gig’: Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner on loving how Hawkeye has a family, no superpowers
It is not every day you become a target of Hawkeye himself.
During our roundtable interview with Jeremy Renner at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, I accidentally interrupted a question from another journalist.
"Tsk, tsk... you need to wait for your turn," he chided me.
The 48-year-old US actor then winked at me, held my arm and mouthed "I'm sorry".
And that was how the "I got shot by Hawkeye" bragging rights came about.
The mood in the room was light, with Renner contributing lots of teasing and laughter - the opposite of the dark, brooding feeling from the Avengers: Endgame trailer, especially the scenes of Renner's master archer Clint Barton/Hawkeye.
Sporting a mohawk and menacing tattoos, Hawkeye's transformation point to a new character called Ronin. According to the comics, Barton takes on that samurai identity for a short period.
"What new identity? What sword? I am still using the bow and arrow," Renner said, attempting to squash the fan theories.
Hawkeye was the only character out of the original Avengers - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow - who was notably absent in Avengers: Infinity War.
Renner admitted he did not know he was not going to be in that movie until it was made, but he harbours no ill feelings.
"The storytellers know more about the universe. I trust them completely," he said, adding that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so vast, he is like a cog in the wheel.
Endgame may be the final episode of the Avengers saga, but to Renner, it is only the beginning. There is word that a series based on Hawkeye, with Renner to star, is being developed at Disney's upcoming streaming service Disney+.
According to Variety, the project will see Hawkeye pass the torch to Kate Bishop, who takes up the Hawkeye mantle after Barton. She is also a member of the group known as the Young Avengers.
While Renner did not comment on the proposed series ("It is out of my pay grade"), he will "always be willing to continue with the storytelling".
The two-time Oscar nominee for The Hurt Locker (2010) and The Town (2011) is content with his character.
"He may be bruised a lot but he's the only one with a family life as seen in (2015's) Age Of Ultron. It's also who I am as a man. My number one role is being a father in my own life," said Renner, who has joint custody of his six-year-old daughter Ava with his ex-wife, Canadian model Sonni Pacheco.
"Being a family man is a beautiful grounding rod for superheroes that fly around with hammers and lightning... What does it matter at the end? What are we all fighting for? I feel like Clint has the best gig, in the sense where the reality is that we can all go back to family."
Renner reckons Hawkeye is the most relatable Avenger.
"I love the idea of playing a superhero with no superpowers. He's just got a bow and arrow, and he makes it fun.
"Sure, he never misses his target, but that is the same with a gold medalist archer.
"What makes him a superhero is his tenacity and heart. That's an attainable superpower and an amazing message to send to kids."
Renner's most precious takeaways from his Avengers journey are his friendships.
"The original A6 (Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo) are truly my dear, dear friends", he said, adding that the group - except Ruffalo, who has a fear of needles - got matching tattoos.
"When you are doing something you love, you are lucky. When you are doing something you love with the people you love doing it with, you have gone to heaven."