Jeremy Renner says he doesn’t ‘have the energy’ for challenging characters since snowplow accident

Jeremy Renner has opened up about his reticence to take on challenging acting roles as he continues to recover from the horrific snowplow accident he was involved in last year.

In January 2023, the 53-year-old actor was helping clear snow from the driveways of his neighbors when he was crushed by his large, seven-ton snow vehicle. He was airlifted to the hospital, where he was treated for severe injuries, including a collapsed lung and more than 30 broken bones.

Speaking to the Smartless podcast, the Hawkeye star said that he was “very terrified” about his return to acting, particularly when it comes to playing characters very distinct from his own personality.

“I just don’t have the energy for it,” said Renner. “I don’t have the fuel. I have so much fuel to put into this reality, this body, all this stuff. I can’t just go play make-believe right now. Because that takes a lot of time to get right here every day just so I can have a positive thought, so I can progress, so I can always keep growing.

“Because I’m to do, like, f***ing fiction? I’m still trying to live in reality, I’m trying to live. So it was a hard line for me to cross,” he added. “It was a big stretch. It was very, very challenging for me mentally to get over that hump.”

This January, Renner returned to his role of power broker Mike McLusky in the Paramount+ crime thriller Mayor of Kingstown to film the third season.

Jeremy Renner in Los Angeles in April 2023 (Getty Images for Disney+)
Jeremy Renner in Los Angeles in April 2023 (Getty Images for Disney+)

“I still struggle with it sometimes to, like, I don’t take it super seriously. I’m in a character that I can do very well and I know the show very well, so it was easy for me to kind of slide back into it,” explained Renner. “But if it was a very challenging role, I couldn’t have taken it. Not challenging in the sense that – because the show’s challenging, but it’s if I had to go play [Jeffrey] Dahmer or something, something so far from me.”

It was recently announced that Renner will appear in the next Knives Out sequel, titled Wake Up Dead Man, alongside a star-studded cast that also includes Josh O’Connor, Andrew Scott, Kerry Washington, Glenn Close and Cailee Spaeny.

An image of Renner appeared in the last Knives Out film, 2022’s Glass Onion, on the packaging of a fictional hot sauce branded “Renning Hot!”.