By: Donna Freydkin
He's got two Oscar nominations, for "The Hurt Locker" and "The Town." He runs a production company, The Combine, which is releasing "The Founder," starring Michael Keaton as Ray Croc, in August. And on May 6, he's one of the most pointed figures in the "Captain America" franchise, playing bow-and-arrow ace Hawkeye.
And yet ask Jeremy Renner what matters most to him, and you get a three-word answer. His daughter, Ava.
"That's the most important thing. I make people chase me down. If you get in my way, I'll run you over to get to my baby," he says. "She's three. She's had three years of changing my existence."
Like any working single parent, Renner juggles a surging career as actor and producer with caring for his child. Meanwhile, Renner straddles that often-elusive place in Hollywood where you can mix the massive tentpoles with smaller passion projects. He just wrapped "Story of Your Life" for auteur Denis Villeneuve and the stark drama "Wind River" for Taylor Sheridan.
"I choose to do a job that's close by. Being a single father, I get her half of the time. I make sure I get my time with her. My presence with my daughter is very important," he says.
Now he's globetrotting to promote "Captain America: Civil War," which pits Iron Man against the Cap over the issue of government oversight of superheroes. The entire gang shows up, including Ant-Man and Spider-Man. "I've gotten away without having to do too much (press) but it's been a lot of traveling," says Renner, of the group's epic promotional circuit.
His character has grown in depth and complexity. In the beginning, "you didn't really understand who the character was. It took many years for me to grab onto something that had value. Ironically it starts to tie into my personal life as well."
In the last movie, we learned that he has a family, which became his priority.
"The last time we saw him, he went back to his family. But I think he got a little bored with retirement. There's only so many hole in ones you can get. He's trying to normalize himself," says Renner.
He's open to a spinoff, should that ever come to pass, but doesn't think it's in the cards.
"It's not my call. It really isn't. It seems unlikely, because I think those guys at Marvel have a plan for the future. That would be something I'd consider, if it was Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and I. That would be interesting to me. But who knows," says Renner.
Plus, there's the bonus of playing Hawkeye and not having to be paranoid about revealing any spoilers. "I have a bow and arrow. That's all I can say," he quips.