Jeremy Renner Shares 3-Word Lesson He Learned After Near-Fatal Snowplow Accident

Jeremy Renner is letting the public in on some highly intimate details of his near-fatal snowplow accident.

The Marvel star was accidentally crushed by his own plow on Jan. 1, 2023, as he was moving to save his nephew from being run over. He broke 38 bones in the process, but survived to tell the story Wednesday on “The Tonight Show” — where he shared his silver linings.

“There’s wonderful lessons in that,” Renner told Jimmy Fallon. “I can go on and on about what happened, and the 45 minutes being on the ice, but... there’s so many great gifts, being tested to your limits. Your physical limits, your spiritual limits, right? Emotional limits.”

“It’s like, I won’t have a bad day for the rest of my life,” he continued. “It’s impossible.”

Renner was using a plow to clear his Lake Tahoe property of 12 feet of snow, he said, when the machine “got out of [his] hands” and threatened to “crush” his nephew. When he tried to commandeer the plow, Renner got “caught up in the tracks” and was injured so severely, he said, that his “eyeball was out.”

“I had to exhale with all my might so I can suck air back in,” he told Fallon. “Didn’t know I had a popped lung and all this other stuff going on, but I just had to breathe. If I didn’t breathe, then I would’ve been gone. Forget the eyeball and all the titanium and the broken bones.”

Airlifted to a local hospital, Renner underwent multiple surgeries and months of recovery.

Actor Jeremy Renner told
Actor Jeremy Renner told "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon that his left shin, part of his back and half his face are "metal" now. Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

He said Wednesday that his left shin, “the right side of my back” and “half my face is metal” now. The “Avengers” star had “14 breaks in the ribs,” and confirmed to Fallon that “weird things kind of go through your head” when “you see your eye... with your other eye.”

Renner said he registered at the time that the ocular injury was “real,” but that he decided in the moment to “worry about it later” — leading him to share on Wednesday that his greatest lesson from the accident was simple: “Step by step.”

“If we get too stressed or if things get too difficult or if it’s insurmountable odds or whatever it might be, just put one foot down and then put another foot down and move towards it,” he told Fallon. “But also the idea of learning how to not panic and how to focus.”

“Look, in order to walk, you have to put one foot down and then another foot in front of it,” he added. “And then you’re walking. Just like breathing.”