Jeremy Renner Says He Had 'a Lot of Callousness Squashed Out' by Accident: 'I Feel Wonderfully Sensitive' (Exclusive)

The Oscar-nominated actor is getting back to work with an action-packed Super Bowl commercial for Silk

<p>Theo Wargo/Getty</p> Jeremy Renner in 2021

Theo Wargo/Getty

Jeremy Renner in 2021

Jeremy Renner has a new perspective.

It was just over a year ago that the actor was critically injured in a snow plow accident, and in the months since, the star says he’s learned to embrace a softer side.

“I certainly got a lot of callousness squashed out of me by that machine,” he tells PEOPLE while discussing his new Super Bowl commercial for Silk. “I’ve never been bitter, but always maybe a little more callous, a little bit more tough. And I just think those calluses are just scraped off me at this point. Literally, I feel pretty open and wonderfully sensitive and youthful.”

He continues, “I’ve been blessed.”

He certainly has. In January 2023, Renner, 53, spent more than two weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries after breaking more than 30 bones in the accident near his home in Nevada.

The Hawkeye star has since made a miraculous recovery, and was even able to return to the red carpet in April, where he walked alongside his 10-year-old daughter Ava.

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/GA/The Hollywood Reporter/Getty</p> Jeremy Renner and daughter Ava walk the red carpet in April.

Matt Winkelmeyer/GA/The Hollywood Reporter/Getty

Jeremy Renner and daughter Ava walk the red carpet in April.

Related: ​​Jeremy Renner Shares Photo Celebrating 53rd Birthday with Daughter Ava: 'Sending My Love and Gratitude'

It was his young daughter and close family and friends who pushed him to heal, he says — and helped him realize just how loved he really is.

“Everything kind of just went right,” he says. “Obviously I had a lot of tenacity, I had a lot of support, a lot of reason to recover. That is really special. There’s a lot of people that don’t have as much, [don’t have] those things to live for.”

Renner continues, “It wasn’t about me getting better. It was about healing them. That’s how I got out of my own way… Geez, the love and support I got from people, man. I just didn’t realize that many people gave a crap about me that much. Maybe Hawkeye, they did. [But] just me as a person, it’s a different thing, you know what I mean?”

While the Oscar-nominated actor says he certainly wouldn’t want to go through something like this again, he’s grateful to have learned his limits — which were far greater than anyone ever expected.

“I know how far I can go. That’s pretty useful information — give you parameters of your life, and it’s pretty hopeful,” he says. “I overcame a lot, and there’s so many things that could have gone wrong. It all went right, every part of it. From my vision, to walking, that no one said I was going to walk again. I’m like, ‘Well…’”

<p>Jennifer Clasen</p>

Jennifer Clasen

Related: Jeremy Renner Admits He's 'Nervous' to Be Back at Work on Mayor of Kingstown 1 Year After Snow Plow Accident

Renner is not only walking again, but is back to performing stunts, like he does in Silk’s new Super Bowl spot, for which PEOPLE was on set for filming in Los Angeles.

“[Silk is] all about wellness, and I’ve gotten pretty into that because it’s forced upon me as a part of a lifestyle, which is great,” he says. “I’ve become so healthy now.”

The ad is even more special to Renner as it costars Ava, whom he shares with ex-wife Sonni Pacheco.

“It’s a beacon of hope for me and for my daughter as well, and this is a new part of our journey together in recovery and in life,” he says. “Getting back into life in a different way, out of a hospital bed, out of the house, being social, just doing normal things. It represents a lot to me, and I’m very thankful to be here to do this."

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