Intense characters are Renner's specialty, so it's no surprise he's taken up Matt Damon's action-star mantle in The Bourne Legacy, which was just released in theaters. Let's put it this way: The guy is so tough he played the lead in The Hurt Locker, about a U.S. Army bomb disposal unit, and the film won the Oscar for Best Picture, definitely a testament to Renner's ability to convince us he's a powerhouse of brute force. We're hoping that that's at least partially true for him as a person too, because sometimes a gal just wants a guy who can throw a solid punch.
Why we love him
This tough-guy actor has a bite to match his bark — not to mention a solid work ethic and a yen for getting his hands dirty.
Born: Jan. 7, 1971
Hometown: Modesto, California
Height: 5' 10"
He's a regular guy (just an extremely sexy regular guy)
We hesitate to say "regular," though, because Jeremy Renner is kind of the platonic ideal of a regular guy: He's like your best buddy from high school, except if your best guy friend were smoking hot and manly as all get-out. He even renovates old houses (several of them mid-century modern) as a hobby. We like to imagine that Renner is the kind of guy who would take you out to a dive bar, keep you laughing all night and defend your honor if any hooligans tried to make trouble by hitting on you.
"I used to hang out at karaoke bars all the time. It was the most fun you could have when you had no money. "
Take, for example, this telling anecdote in this month's Esquire:
"'I used to hang out at karaoke bars all the time. It was the most fun you could have when you had no money. I went right here twice a week' — and Renner points to Barney's Beanery, a beer-and-burgers-and-karaoke place that conveniently appears to his right — 'from 1995 until, like, 2002. Religiously.... There was a whole clan of people, this circuit of people. We'd get together and just have the best time.'"
But, wait, Esquire interviewer Chris Jones! What's Renner's signature song?! Please tell us it's anything Springsteen or maybe a Johnny Cash number. Now we're not sure there's any date that sounds more appealing than grabbing burgers and a couple of beers and singing our lungs out with Jeremy Renner. Even a dinner date on the moon with Ryan Lochte.
He scares us — in a good way
Jeremy has that whole "loose cannon" thing down pat when it comes to past roles such as serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer in the movie Dahmer and the friend you're not sure you can trust in The Town... Dimension is always attractive in an actor, because that usually means a man understands and loves his craft.
"I don't know, man, I don't feel like a tough guy by any means," he told Interview magazine. "You know I also played a lot of bad guys... Dahmer... a lot of bad guys. And I think there's a part of me in those characters, sometimes more than in others. In The Hurt Locker there's a lot of me in there, a sense of humor, a man of few words and a lot of action. But then a movie like Dahmer... there's very, very little of me in Jeffrey Dahmer. So I think it's all about how people see you..."
"I had to do a lot of work and allow myself to go places that were a little scary. You know when you play a guy like that it allows you the freedom to explore really weird parts about you. And it's OK. In order to really get it, I've got to allow myself to go there."
We're glad Jeremy can free himself so we can go along for the ride.
He worked hard for his success
Only now, at age 41, is Renner truly famous and something of a household name. Notably, he's played a superhero alongside Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. in The Avengers and jumped off of buildings in close proximity to Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. Sounds exactly like wild success to us — but Renner is conscious of how long it took to reach this point. After all, his big break was in the 1995 film National Lampoon's Senior Trip (tagline: "Four score and seven beers ago...").
"It's a wonderfully high-class problem to have."
"It's a wonderfully high-class problem to have," he told Details about his newfound popularity in Hollywood. "All these people want you to be in their movie. Or work with you. Or maybe they want to kick you in the balls. Half the time I don't know. But it's better than wondering if I have to write a play and direct it myself just to get that next job."
We'd see that play too!
Jeremy Renner's relationship status:
We're officially picturing ourselves living in a beautifully restored Frank Lloyd Wright home and waking up in a platform bed next to Jeremy each morning... because — hooray! — he's single. And looking, according to the Details article. But, gals, know up front that he's a workhorse who's dedicated to his career:
"There've been a handful of girls over the last years. But it's been very difficult. I have a wonderful life, but it means nothing if it cannot be shared."
"There've been a handful of girls over the last years. But it's been very difficult. How does it go any further? I have a wonderful life, but it means nothing if it cannot be shared. That's all I'm missing right now. It's a little unbalanced for me. Right now the only thing consistent in my life is that little dog. That's why I got it. I was getting really lonely. I needed somebody or something to be there with me through the whole journey."
Jeremy, if you're wondering, we like beer, burgers and especially karaoke. Duet time!