August 5, 2012 -- Why Renner is a Bourne Again Hero (


He's one of the hottest actors in Hollywood right now but Jeremy Renner's starring role in The Bourne Legacy will be a game changer in anonymity.

The former make-up artist turned leading man likes his privacy but with a string of blockbusters after his Oscar-nominated role in The Hurt Lo1cker, Renner can no longer hide behind a cap and sunnies.

In deciding whether to take the role of secret agent Aaron Cross in the latest Bourne franchise, Renner has said he had to weigh the impact it would have on his personal life.

In the end the script won him over, though he says he still shies away from fame.

"It is a conscious choice because that's how I want to live life," he tells Insider from Los Angeles. "It's not easy but it is important to me to have my own life, my life outside in public and as an actor."

The 41-year-old's career has taken off in the past few years, particularly since his perfor-mance in The Hurt Locker, and his follow-up Oscar nomination for The Town.

Most recently, Renner appeared on the big screen alongside Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.

Both films were action packed, as is The Bourne Legacy, but Renner doesn't see himself as an action hero.

"As far as action hero, that is the last thing I think I am."

The Bourne Legacy, he says, is not a typical action film.

"If it was just an action movie, I wouldn't be interested. It has such intelligence, authenticity and ferocity of action to it and really interesting three-dimensional characters set in that world which made it interesting."

The Bourne Legacy is the fourth Bourne film and also stars Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. Renner plays secret agent Cross while Matt Damon, who starred in the first three films as agent Jason Bourne, doesn't appear except in photographs.

Without Damon playing Bourne, Renner struggled to see how the film would work.

"I'm a huge fan of the franchise," he says. "Before I had the script, it was a no brainer not to do it because I didn't understand what they were talking about. They (producers) were very secretive about everything and I didn't know how they'd do a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne, it didn't make any sense to me. Once I got the information, the script and what they were trying to do, I got it instantly."

Renner hasn't seen the finished product but flies into Sydney for Tuesday night's Australian premiere.

The film's ending leaves open the possibility of future Bourne movies, with or without Damon reprising his role as the title character.

"It is wide open for a lot of scenarios and that is certainly one of them, for Matt, if he chooses to do another one."

Physically, The Bourne Legacy required Renner to be in top shape. Fortunately, he's naturally athletic and his previous action roles meant he was already in peak condition.

"I had a good running start," he says. "My schedule was fighting for two-and-a-half hours a day, working out for two hours a day, and stretching for an hour before and after. It was eight hours of training a day but only for about three weeks and then it was work."

Renner also performed most of his stunts, with the exception of a few dangerous motorbike scenes.

Should his acting career ever stall, Renner could go back to make-up artistry, which saved him working menial jobs before his meteoric rise.

"I put make-up on hot chicks, and I thought, 'if I can get paid for that, why not'."

This will be Renner's first trip to Australia and he seems genuinely excited.

"I have loads of Aussie friends so I can't wait to go check it out," he says.

Renner says he'd like to try a Broadway production but he's not much of a planner.

"I am not really a crystal ball kind of guy but I'm always going to be working somehow, some way building a home or acting in a movie or producing and maybe eventually directing," he says. "But I like to not know, that is more exciting to me."