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Renner finds comfort staying in ‘Town’

Convinces Affleck to keep him in for key scene

Jeremy Renner isn’t the demanding type.

If he asks for seconds from the craft services table, it’s probably not the norm. But he practically pleaded with director Ben Affleck to put another 30 seconds back into “The Town” that had been chopped.

Renner, who garnered an Oscar nomination last year for his starring role in “The Hurt Locker,” recalls he wanted to include the scene where his character, Jem, tells best friend, Doug (Affleck) that he owes him. After all, he did do a long stretch in prison for killing a man in order to protect Doug.

“It’s such a subtle thing,” Renner explains. “To me it showed his softer side, and I thought it was really important to be there. It showed that this guy was not a thug, but a damaged kid and the product of his environment. It wasn’t just about me but about our friendship. So he put it back in, and he was happy to.”

Renner’s Jem is a hoodlum often seen in films, yet this was no cookie- cutter, trigger-fingered accomplice.

“He was a hot-headed, dynamic character,” Renner explains, “but I couldn’t take the part just for that. It has to have some reality to it, especially with a bad guy. There was a lot of emotional stuff behind it that I wanted to bring to it. That’s my job. Making him a human being and not just someone who hurts people.”

Renner has been acting professionally since 1995. The Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” thrust him into a different stratosphere. Recently he was in Dubai shooting action sequences with Tom Cruise for “Mission: Impossible 4.”

“When something happens like that,” he says, “you certainly notice a change, from your peers and people on the street. That’s what happens when a film comes into someone’s consciousness. It was a tiny film that did really well.

“I’m also lucky that ‘The Town’ turned out so great. All the moving parts worked like an engine. I’m glad it connected with people.”

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