Jeremy gets mysterious in The Bourne Legacy.
13. Though he’d been working in “the business” for almost 15 years, it wasn’t until 2008 that he really landed on the map with The Hurt Locker. He won nine awards that awards season, and he was nominated for eleven more—including the Oscar, BAFTA, SAG Award, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor. Mazel tov!
14. He took his mom to the Oscars that year. Awwww.
15. Speaking of Jeremy’s mom, Valerie has said that she thinks it’s a good thing it took so long for his career to take off. “He has worked long and hard,” she told the Modesto Bee in 2010; “I think [the slow rise] has been good for him. If this had happened when he was young, it might have changed him. Now he’s such a grounded person.” Mother knows best!
16. His advice on how to get through an Academy Award campaign? “Take it moment by moment. Don’t freak out, just have fun.” P.S.: He borrowed this piece of advice from Charlize Theron, whom he counts as a good friend.
17. Jeremy is also quite the musician: He can count himself as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, and drummer. He also was a member of the band the Sons of Ben way back in the day.
18. In fact, he’s drawn upon his musical talents in a few of his movies, too: He performed “I Drink Alone” on the North Country soundtrack, and in Love Comes to the Executioner and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, he performed “American Pie” and “Good Ole Rebel.”
Jeremy sings “American Pie” in Love Comes to the Executioner.
19. Jeremy is generally a pretty easy-going guy who doesn’t freak out when he meets other famous people. He’s only been star struck once: When he met Cesar Millan, AKA The Dog Whisperer.
20. Jeremy has kept a healthy sense of proportion in the face of his relatively newfound fame. He hasn’t had much time to renovated houses lately—but, he says, “it’s a wonderfully high-class problem to have. All these people want you to be in their movie. Or work with you. Or maybe they want to kick you in the balls. Half the time I don’t know. But it’s better than wondering if I have to write a play and direct it myself just to get that next job.” True that.
21. The kinds of characters to which he tends to be drawn are those ones who seem to be walking contradictions. He says his character in The Town, Jem, is a perfect example: There’s nothing quite as interesting as a bad guy who’s also terrifyingly likeable. Unpredictability is key.
22. Jeremy has a very specific way he copes with nervousness. He calls it the Renner Stretch, and according to Tom Cruise, Jeremy’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol co-star, it defies description. Apparently it’s some sort of wacky jig that he does to loosen himself up—but you really have to see it to understand it.
22. He’s sacrificed a lot for his career over the years—including his chances at lasting relationships. He’s said, “I never dated, because I couldn’t afford to date,” but also that he loved what he was doing. “The sacrifices I made in personal relatinships had the biggest effect on my life. Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.”
23. And yes, he’s single now—though he admits to being a little lonely sometimes. “I have a wonderful life,” he told Details this past December, “but it means nothing if it cannot be shared. That’s all I’m missing right now. It’s a little unbalanced for me.”
24. That, by the way, is why he got his current pet, a French bulldog named Franklin. “I needed somebody or something to be there with me through the whole journey,” Jeremy said. A dog really is a boy’s best friend!
25. What’s next for Jeremy? It’s been a big couple of years, and the next few are just going to get bigger. After The Bourne Legacy opens, he’s got not one, not two, not THREE, but FOUR projects lined up: James Gray’s currently untitled new project and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, both in post-production; and in pre-production, he’s got Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers 2, in which he’ll reprise his role as Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye.
Be sure to catch The Bourne Legacy, in cinemas this Friday!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.