Jeremy Renner hopes to do more small-scale, personal films like “Wind River,” he said at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, which screens the film ahead of honoring the actor on Saturday with the president’s prize.
He called the wilderness-set thriller’s director, Taylor Sheridan, “super, super smart,” adding he hopes to work with him again. “He’s sort of a brass tacks kind of guy — get it done, get it done. He comes across kind of like a cowboy but he’s hyper, hyper intelligent.”
When Sheridan makes his next film, said Renner, “I hope I will be in it. For a first-time director, he’s an amazing writer.”
Renner found “Wind River,” in its depiction of Native American communities, “topical,” showing them clearly at odds with the federal government as Elizabeth Olsen’s FBI agent character investigates a legally messy murder on a Wyoming reservation. But, he added, the film is not intended as a polemic against the Trump administration.
“It happens to be something we talk about right now in the media,” Renner said, but noted, “We were shooting a character drama on a reservation and about a community on a reservation like many communities on a reservation.”
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The appeal for him, he said, was the script and the nuances of his role as a hunter-turned-investigator.
“Storytelling, character-driven dramas, there’s a lot of things to attract you.”
Although Renner is increasingly known as an action film figure, with roles in the “Mission: Impossible” and “Avengers” franchises, “I’m doing more things and recognized for things that weren’t the action movies.”
Smaller dramas with more in common with “The Hurt Locker,” his 2008 breakout performance as a conflicted bomb squad expert serving in Iraq, are “one of those things that I know how to do and love to do and am challenged to do. They’re a great reason to get back to work and learn and grow.”
Renner credits his Oscar-nommed performance as a hard-drinking, troubled soldier to Kathryn Bigelow’s direction, which he said pushed him into a place where he’d either excel or crash.
He wouldn’t again travel to the Middle East for even a great part, Renner said, because it’s more important now to stay near his four-year-old daughter, a father’s dedication he shares with his character in “Wind River,” a single dad.
As for plans beyond the next yet-to-be titled Bourne film, Renner said, he tries not to focus too far into the future, nor dwell on the past. “I’m a pretty present-thinking kind of guy — at 46.”