Jeremy Renner Does His Own Stunts, Builds His Own Houses, But Doesn’t Enjoy Watching His Own Movies

Two-time Oscar nominee also reveals how Ben Affleck had him hang with “thugs and ex-cons” in order to learn a Boston accent

Actor Jeremy Renner proved on Tuesday’s Stern Show he’s capable of doing just about anything on his own — from building and renovating houses to executing dangerous stunts on a movie set. After years of starring in high-octane action flicks, even Jeremy had to laugh about recently breaking both of his arms while completing a stunt … in a comedy.

“I fell like 20 feet off a stack of chairs,” Jeremy told Howard about the injury he sustained while shooting “Tag,” a movie about a group of friends involved in an intense, cross-country game of tag.

“I broke both of my arms, I got back up and did the stunt again,” Renner continued. It wasn’t until after lunch that Jeremy headed to the hospital and learned how hurt he actually was. Still, he told Howard he returned to the set and continued to work the very same day.

“I just know my limitations,” he said.

It’s when Jeremy is in a scene with another actor that he says he has to take further precaution. In his new movie “Wind River,” Jeremy had to drive a snowmobile with actress Elizabeth Olsen onboard. He also remembered being extra careful while riding a motorcycle with Rachel Weisz in “The Bourne Legacy.”

“You’ve just got to be careful because you are responsible for somebody else’s well-being,” he explained.

Before earning his higher-paying gigs in Hollywood, Jeremy and his longtime friend turned business partner made ends meet by investing in homes together. Using the money he made in the movie “S.W.A.T.,” Jeremy said they bought one of their first fixer-uppers and lived in it throughout the renovation — something they continued to do with each new property they purchased. The only problem: the houses never had running water or electricity.

“We were doing that all the way up until like ‘The Hurt Locker,’” Jeremy told Howard. He earned his first Oscar nomination for that film and remembered having to get ready in a Starbucks bathroom the night of the ceremony since he didn’t have a working bathroom in his own home.

“I … had to brush my teeth in a Starbucks because we had no running water, as I got into a limo to go to the Academy Awards,” Jeremy said. “It’s character building, those types of things.”

Starring in “The Hurt Locker,” which won Best Picture at the 2010 Oscars, changed Jeremy’s life but he admitted to Howard he’s probably only seen the movie once start to finish. However, he’s seen the last five minutes of the film several times since he had to sneak back into the theater during screenings before having to speak at Q&A panels about making the movie.

It’s not just “The Hurt Locker” that Jeremy hasn’t seen, though. He told Howard and Robin he has no interested in seeing any of his films. The only time he usually sees his own flicks is watching playback on the set so he can see what he might need to change in his performance.

Just one year after earning his first Oscar nod, Jeremy picked up a second Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in “The Town.” His director and co-star Ben Affleck didn’t want to hire a dialogue coach to help Jeremy speak in the required Boston accent of his character. Instead, Affleck had Renner learn by interacting with some specific locals.

“He knew more than I knew so he put me out into bars and hooked me up with thugs and ex-cons,” Jeremy said. “They gave me the authenticity.”

Jeremy’s long list of talents also includes playing music after he taught himself how to play the piano, drums, and guitar. He told Howard he learned how to play the piano simply by watching others and then practicing on his own.

“If I took piano lessons I would suck. As soon as I had to learn scales and read the music — that’s not how I learn. I had to learn always by ear and by actually doing,” Jeremy explained.

After hearing about all the things Jeremy excels at, Howard wondered if there was anything he couldn’t do.

“It’s really simple — I just don’t do shit I’m bad at,” Renner told him.

See Jeremy Renner in “Wind River” opening in select theaters Aug. 4.

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