Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Speakeasy with actor Jeremy Renner

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:28 PM

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In Kathryn Bigelow’s thrilling war film The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner creates one of the most iconic characters of 2009. As staff sergeant William James, a bomb disposal expert in 2004 Baghdad, Renner proves macho, heroic and also terrifyingly reckless, even when he wears a protective “bomb suit” that makes him look like a 19th-century deep sea diver. Following starring roles in films such as Dahmer and 28 Weeks Later…, as well as ABC’s short-lived “The Unusuals,” The Hurt Locker is sure to make Renner’s career, well, blow up.

The filming took three months in Amman, Jordan, in summer. How did you prepare for the role, and how did you prepare for the climate?

You can’t really prepare for climate like that. Before we went, Kathryn gave me these brochures that said things like “Jordan! The Dead Sea! Scuba Diving!” We didn’t shoot at those places. The shooting was awful — you can’t escape the sun. I was on the film for about a year before it started, so I had a lot of time for research. I went to Fort Irwin with some other guys and did some military training, mostly with EOD [explosive ordnance disposal]. There were a few experts who allowed me to pick their brain and ask a lot of questions. I was like a sponge. All they did was speak in acronyms, like “HEs.” And I’d be asking “What? Oh, high explosives.”

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(Photo by Greg Gorman/Summit Entertainment)

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