Jeremy Renner Admits He Had ‘Considerations’ When Signing on to Marvel in 2011: ‘My Whole Decade’s Booked’

Jeremy Renner had to think twice before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making his first appearance in “Thor.” He was already no stranger to the action genre, but said that signing on for a role in the “Avengers” films was daunting.

“My whole decade’s booked,” he said on an episode of the “SmartLess” podcast released Monday. “I’m going to be 50 years old in f–king tights,” he added, explaining his thought process going in.

Renner was a franchise darling in the 2010s, joining the “Mission: Impossible” series opposite Tom Cruise, playing Hawkeye in “The Avengers” and starring in other IP hits like “The Bourne Legacy.”

While the two-time Oscar nominee was grateful for the wealth of opportunities, Renner told the show’s cohosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes that he was basically gone for four years.

“You’re an idiot to say no to these things,” Renner said of big-budget projects, known for their high visibility and high paychecks. “I knew I was going to miss a lot, but I knew there was an end to it.”

“I spent four birthdays in a row with my assistant,” he added. “That’s an episode of ‘Will & Grace,’” he quipped to the show’s own Jack, the Emmy-winning Hayes.

Renner kept it real about how tough his schedule was making those films, but also acknowledged how grateful he was to work on such large-scale projects. As a young, single guy, he said, he also couldn’t complain about being paid to get in shape for the action-packed features.

Renner said it’s nice to switch up the kinds of stories he gets to work on, despite being known for the action genre. He currently stars as Mike McLusky in the crime drama series “Mayor of Kingstown” on Paramount+. The series challenged him emotionally and intellectually, he said, in a way that action movies could not.

“For ‘Avengers’ and ‘Bourne’ and the ‘Mission: Impossibles,’ it’s much more about the stunts and the physical stuff, which is fun — it’s just a different muscle to use,” he said. He contrasted that with his transition into filming streaming series, from “Kingstown” to “Hawkeye.” “There’s a controlled chaos in television today. We shoot like a ten-hour film in a third of the time. It’s crazy.”

Listen to the full Jeremy Renner “SmartLess” interview here or in the player below:

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