EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Renner credits Anil Kapoor for helping him ‘become a local in India’
In an all-India exclusive interview, Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner, best known as Marvel’s Hawkeye, talks about his trip to India and shooting with Anil Kapoor.
From playing gully cricket with young boys in Rajasthan to enjoying the whiff of Indian flavours to getting bewildered by the ‘desi’ wedding celebrations, there are many moments that Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner holds close to his heart from his first time in India, and thanks his buddy and actor Anil Kapoor for making him feel like a local in the country.
The actor, best known for playing Clint Barton aka Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, visited India to shoot a web reality series, Rennervations, in 2022, and took to social media to share moments from his trip. Now, in an exclusive chat with us, he opens up about his time in the country, and reconnecting with his Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol co-star and old friend, Kapoor.
“My first time in India was wonderfully inspiring. I have led a fortunate life which enabled me to work and travel all over the world, but I could not come to India. I felt so blessed to finally make it to the country, and learn about this culture and community,” Renner tells us.
The 52-year-old actor, who is recuperating from a life threatening accident, which took place earlier this year, adds, “Every waking moment of every day in India meant learning about the culture itself”.
Opening about it further, the actor says, “I saw how families stay connected here. That’s a big part of what my life is, but it’s not very popular in America. I saw so many weddings in the country. There was some prayer celebration happening at night and 3 in the morning. Initially, I thought it was a wedding, but my friends told me that it wasn’t a wedding but a prayer celebration. I was wonderfully surprised by that”.
“In fact, weddings are so colourful in the country. It was the first time ever in my life that I saw huge families in a single tractor. I can go on and on about all these new sights and sounds which I found, But the one word which I can use to describe the country after my experience is colourful,” he shares, adding, “None of it felt like work to me, whether it was playing cricket or enjoying the food. I enjoyed myself every waking moment”.
Here, he thanks Kapoor for helping him bridge the culture gap, and embrace it all.
“Meeting Anil in India was just great. I didn’t see him after the release of Mission Impossible, which was in 2011. When I came here, it sparked the idea of calling out a friend who might be able to help me excel. I wanted to take all the help that I could get on this journey. Anil is a wonderful face and name of this culture and of India. In fact, he was a wonderful liaison, giving me a lot of insight, and helping me being a local here. He also has a passion for exactly what I’m doing as well. He was there for me as a friend, and I’m so thankful to him for being there for me,” says the actor.
During his time in India, Renner along with Kapoor explored the issue of safe water for the show, which will stream on Disney+ Hotstar. They helped the community rebuild a delivery truck into a mobile water treatment facility to enable access to clean, drinkable water.
Talking about it, he says, “I have always been passionate about building since I was a kid, and later in life I saw a lot of good vehicles going to waste, including in India. That’s when I saw it through the lens of repurposing these vehicles and connecting with agencies that were helping underprivileged kids around the world… It was all about making the real superheroes that they really are helping these kids”.
Wrapping up, Renner exclaims that the memories from his trip to India will always stay in his heart, and make him come back one day.
“I’ll get to share those memories forever in the perpetuity of my life with my friends and family and people involved in this project. I was very deeply and emotionally affected in a very positive way in the country, and inspired. I hope to come back soon,” he ends with a hope in his voice.