A Minute With: Jeremy Renner on his "Mission: Impossible"

Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:13am EST
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Jeremy Renner scuffed around Hollywood for a decade before his career took off in 2009 when he was nominated for an Oscar in his starring role in the bomb-disposal war drama "The Hurt Locker."

Renner didn't win the award, although the film earned the best movie Oscar. He followed "Hurt Locker" with another Oscar-nominated role in "The Town" and did a cameo in this year's blockbuster "Thor."

Now he's starring opposite Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," the "MI" franchise's fourth film that is No. 1 at box offices over the holidays.

Renner, 40, spoke to Reuters about how he landed the role, working with Cruise, and rumors he may take over the franchise when Cruise, nine years his senior, tires of it.

Q: Is it true you went in to discuss a possible role in "Super 8" when you were offered "MI4" instead?

A: "It's true. I was discussing 'Super 8' with J.J. Abrams, who directed that and produced ("MI4"), and that was a very secretive project too, and within a few hours I'd met Tom Cruise and ("MI4" director) Brad Bird. I went in for one movie and came out with another!"

Q: Does that happen a lot?

A: "Not to me. It's very strange. I called people and said, 'You won't believe what just happened.' It was crazy and I was shocked to suddenly be in 'MI4.' But it was so easy, sitting down with Tom and Brad. It's this fantastic fun franchise ... And there was no script then. They just pitched me the whole story, where my character was at, and it all made sense. It was very easy to say, 'Yes.'"   Continued...