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Jeremy Renner was born on January 7, 1971, in Modesto, California to parents Valerie Cearley and Lee Renner. He made his film debut in 1995’s National Lampoon’s Senior Trip. After numerous guest spots, he won a recurring role on Angel in 1999. In 2002, he had his first major career breakthrough in the movie Dahmer. With his performance in 2009’s The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner has established himself as one of Hollywood’s rising stars.

Early Career

He discovered acting while attending Modesto Junior College. Eventually moving to Los Angeles, Renner first garnered strong reviews for his role in the play Search and Destroy, which he also co-directed.

Making his film debut in 1995, Renner starred in the comedy National Lampoon’s Senior Trip. He then landed a few television movies, such as 1996’s A Friend’s Betrayal and 1997’s A Nightmare Come True. After numerous guest spots, Renner won a recurring role on Angel, playing a vampire in 1999. He also began working with a friend on buying and rebuilding houses in the Los Angeles area around this time to supplement his income.

Big Break

In 2002, Renner experienced his first major career breakthrough with the independent drama Dahmer. His riveting portrayal of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead and helped him get an agent. “It made auditioning a bit easier to be a little more respected or at least known when you walked into a room . . . It was strange to be the new guy in town who had actually been here for 10 years,” Renner explained to Back Stage.

Continuing to give solid performances, Renner worked on a variety of projects, from the big budget action flick S.W.A.T (2003) with Colin Farrell to the sexual harassment drama North Country (2005) with Charlize Theron. He also starred in several independent films, such as Neo Ned (2005), in which he played a white supremacist living in a mental institution. Taking on somewhat lighter fare, Renner starred as a death row inmate in the dark comedy Love Comes to the Executioner (2006).

‘The Hurt Locker’ and Other Projects

In 2007, Renner played a courageous soldier in the thriller 28 Weeks Later. He soon played another type of military officer in The Hurt Locker, which explored the travails of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team working in Iraq. “The role was so rich and complex, and the story of EOD made it so new and fresh. I trained with EOD for over a year to accurately portray these guys, these heroes,” Renner told USA Today.

Renner’s efforts paid off handsomely, winning him accolades for his compelling depiction of Staff Sergeant William James, an expert on defusing bombs who seemed to be addicted to the adrenaline rush associated with his work. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker earned numerous award nominations, including an Academy Award nod for Renner.

After the success of The Hurt Locker, Renner quickly became an in-demand actor in Hollywood. He appeared in the crime drama The Town (2010) with Jon Hamm, Ben Affleck and Blake Lively. Renner moved on to the popular action franchise Mission: Impossible with a role in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Assuming the identity of the comic book character Hawkeye, he played this part in both 2011’s Thor and in 2012’s The Avengers.

Trying to fill Matt Damon’s shoes in Bourne thriller series, Renner played the lead in the action thriller The Bourne Legacy (2012). He continued to take on a variety of projects, including a supporting part in the critically acclaimed crime drama American Hustle (2013) and a starring role in Kill the Messenger (2014). In 2015, Renner once again played Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Quotes

I want my personal life to be personal … And I don’t care if you’re talking about things that are true, you’re still talking about my personal life. How about I go peek in your window, take what underwear you wore last night, whose husband you were fucking, and shove that in the megaphone throughout your neighborhood? How does that feel? It’s none of your goddamn business.

When you Google yourself and the first thing that comes up is ‘Jeremy Renner gay,’ it’s like, ‘Oh, now you’ve arrived. You’re now a giant movie star.’ So I just had a big laugh about it. I don’t care, ultimately, if that’s what people want to think, read and care about. Fucking say whatever the hell you want about me.

Happy to let Tom Cruise do stunts, would rather have a doughnut.

(On The Kardashians) Oh, all those ridiculous people with zero talent who spend their lives making sure everyone knows their name. Those stupid, stupid people.