The first time I saw Jeremy Renner, a decade ago now, when I asked who he was (cute guy, life of the party, of course I spotted him and asked around), my friend said, “Oh that’s Jeremy. He’s a crazy actor.” So he’s been “Crazy Actor Jeremy” in my head for a long time, and nothing in the last decade has undone that first impression. Here’s another story for the CAJ file in my mind.
Renner appeared on Jimmy Kimmel this week, promoting The Bourne Legacy (just saw it—slow to start but once it gets going it’s pretty awesome action. Renner carries it and his scenes with Edward Norton are great). While on the show, he told a story about taking a quick trip to LA from London, and flying back again immediately and wanting to sleep on the plane. So he asked someone for some of the good drugs, and they gave him a pill which he thought was Ambien, but turned out to be Viagra. So he spent the flight not asleep but, um, pitching a tent. (How long do Viagra boners last if you don’t do anything about them?)
THIS is why I love Jeremy Renner. Who else would be willing to tell this story on national television? As I’ve said before, Renner is good for gossip. He’s a never-ending hit parade of crazy stories and even more insane rumors. And he’s willing to talk about them! This is (one of the reasons) why I don’t buy the gay rumors that have followed him the last few years. Renner isn’t very stealth. He’s the first one to air his own dirty laundry. And he’s not some twenty-two year old punk, terrified of public approval. Renner has a back-up plan—he’s made millions flipping houses in Los Angeles. If acting fell through, he would be FINE. With that in his back pocket, why would he care about supposed career reprisals over who he’s sleeping with?
That was the subject of his profile piece in Esquire this month (the houses, not his sexuality). He drove around town, showing the journalist his succession of less-sh*tty homes as he moved up the real estate ladder as his career slowly got off the ground. The article is, as expected, full of totally insane anecdotes, like the time a Dahmer groupie kidnapped his cat because he played Jeffrey Dahmer in a movie. What even…?
Back to his Viagra story—the subtext here is, of course, that Jeremy Renner is a Man and has no need of male enhancement, so he didn’t recognize Viagra when he saw it. (Unintended subtext—Renner still has that streak of reckless in him and takes whatever pills are handed to him, regardless of whether or not he actually knows what they are.) Anyone else, I’d think that subtext is intentional, but with Renner…well he’s not dumb, but he also has a big mouth. Stuff just tends to fall out of it. I’m not sure he’s thinking, “This will reinforce my masculinity” as much as, “This is pretty funny.” Either way, it’s just Crazy Actor Jeremy at work.