TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Jeremy Renner talks Oscar nomination

03 February 2010 [11:50] - TODAY.AZ
Talk about your life changing in the blink of an eye. After all, when Jeremy Renner went to bed last night, he was merely Jeremy Renner, actor. But now, just a few hours later, he’s Jeremy Renner, Oscar-nominated star of The Hurt Locker, this year’s Little Movie That Could at the Academy Awards. The A-list, surely, beckons.

Needless to say, when Empire spoke to Renner on the phone just a few minutes ago, he was still hovering somewhere around Cloud Nine. “I never knew that I could feel so exhilarated as I did when I was six years old during Christmas, or going to Disneyland for the first time,” says the 37 year-old. “I never imagined this feeling coming back. It’s an amazing high. It really is.”

Renner was nominated for his wonderful turn as the fearless EOD specialist, Sgt. James, in Kathryn Bigelow’s searing Iraq War thriller, which is now being seen as one of the few films that could possibly stop Avatar from winning the Best Picture gong come March 7. But Renner insists that Oscar was the last thing on his mind during the film’s arduous shoot in Jordan.

“Hell, no!” he admits. “I had zero expectations. What got us through is that we all knew that we had a great script and we had amazing roles. I knew for me, specifically, I had the role of a lifetime. We had to keep fighting through every obstacle and that got us through those moments with flies in your mouth. And when you’re working with Anthony Mackie [who plays James’ no. 2, Sanborn] and Brian Geraghty [as Eldridge, another member of James’ team], it doesn’t get any better than that.”

In fact, Renner was with Mackie and Bigelow when the nominations were announced at 5.30am LA time. “I think the first one they called out for us was Best Actor,” he laughs. “I climbed all over Anthony and jumped in his arms! He’s my brother for life. It was awesome. We are truly blessed.”

The actor’s been linked with various roles since The Hurt Locker hit it big (critically, if not commercially; the movie has grossed, inexplicably, just $12.6 million in the States), including Hawkeye in The Avengers and Mad Max in Fury Road. Neither of those worked out, but before Renner can look to the future and cementing his new status, the month ahead will see him hit the Oscar campaign trail with a vengeance.

“I’ve been doing it already,” he admits. “It’s an everyday thing. But I’m going to take it moment by moment and live it as honestly as I possibly can.”

Sounds like a lot like a certain Hurt Locker character – Sgt. James would be proud…

/Empire Online/

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