There’s something of the cowboy about Jeremy Renner. It could be his tendency to take on strong but silent roles. It might be the actor’s deep affinity with nature. Or, maybe, it’s because in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, Renner saddled up and rode back into Hollywood to reclaim what was rightfully his.
Today, Renner sits beside me – more sharp-suited than sharp-shooter – texting away with his trigger-fingers on the backlot of Universal Studios. We’re sitting outside a faux-saloon on Western Street, a custom-built frontier town set, and the actor looks oddly at home. He’s subdued, but that’s no surprise – it’s been a hell of a few months.
In August, Renner’s latest film, Wind River, was released by The Weinstein Company. Two months later, the Hollywood sex abuse scandal began to break. For Renner, his co-stars and the film’s director, Taylor Sheridan, the revelations were appalling – not least because their neo-Western thriller, a film which at that time still bore the disgraced mogul’s name, dealt with the abuse of vulnerable women.