Actor Jeremy Renner talked, riffed and answered audience questions at the 3rd Annual Boston Film Critics Award last night at Brattle Theater in Cambridge. The crowd -- 500 or so people -- was an mix of film critics, Harvard students, white-haired movie aficionados and even Julia Child's niece Philadelphia Cousins.
Renner, who has acted in 28 Weeks Later, Lords of Dogtown, and Dahmer, (and probably something I've left out) is up for an Oscar for his performance in Hurt Locker. The first thing out of his mouth when asked why director, Katherine Bigelow did not chose well known actors to work in her movie. A simple, courteous, "I don't know."
"The movie creates a lot of tension, you wouldn't expect an actor like Tom Cruise to work in this movie because he has a lot of baggage." said Renner. "I've died in 99% of what I've done as an actor, so you expect I would die in this one too."
Renner talked about his excitement for the movie after the two and a half years of filming and preparing for the role. He said, over the last 18 months, getting picked up by the Venice and Toronto film festival awards has made it easier to swallow. "It's real to me now. There's value to this movie. I can sit here on stage enjoying a scotch."
At one point an audience member asked Renner what his motivation was for playing his character. Renner looked amused by the question. "I'm not going to tell you the answer. I don't know what it's like to have my life on the line. In fact, I faked how it was to have my life on the line."
When answering what is next, Renner said he had finished filming a Boston based movie directed by Ben Affleck called The Town, "Yeah we robbed everything. I liked robbing the North End. I had a townie haircut, it didn't look good on me."
The final audience question: Do you think your going to win the Oscar for best actor? Renner sipped his scotch and sat back, pausing before answering the question. "I have already won my friend. This is victory."