As master archer Hawkeye in the Avengers films, Jeremy Renner is already an ace sharpshooter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the new crime drama Wind River, he swaps a bow and arrow for a rifle without sacrificing any measure of deadly accuracy. Written and directed by Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, Wind River takes place on the titular Native American reservation, where a young woman has been murdered and hunter/tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) teams up with FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate the crime.
In the MCU, of course, Renner and Olsen — as Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch — fought alongside each other as members of Team Cap during the group’s Civil War. When the duo visited Yahoo Movies for a Facebook Live chat (watch a replay below), Olsen told us that her personal history with her Avengers co-star came in handy while making Wind River, which opens in theaters on Aug. 4.
“He’s a great actor and someone that could be very intimidating to work with for the first time,” she said. “So getting to know Jeremy though Avengers and do this movie was important, because [my character is] not supposed to be intimidated by [him] in the film. And I was intimidated when we first did The Avengers! I get intimidated easily; I go home thinking about all the things I said wrong at night, and then I can’t fall asleep because I’m ridden with guilt.”
Watch a replay of our complete Facebook Live chat with Renner and Olsen below, and read on for selected highlights from our conversation.
Although the real-life Wind River Reservation is located in Wyoming, the movie was filmed in and around the mountains surrounding Park City, Utah, the town best known as home to the Sundance Film Festival every January. Naturally, Wind River had its world premiere at Sundance 2017. “We all agreed that the landscape is definitely a character in the movie itself,” Renner says of shooting in the Utah wilderness. “The laws of nature go up against the laws of man. The landscape there is very telling of how people live in that environment, and us as actors, how we can and can’t shoot a movie in that environment.”
In July, Renner revealed that he had fractured his right elbow and left wrist while filming a stunt in the upcoming movie Tag. That news immediately inflamed fan concerns over Hawkeye’s status in Avengers: Infinity War, which he’s currently filming. But as you’ll see in the video, the casts are off and he’s on the mend, even though there is some lingering pain. “My daughter’s helping me a lot with the physical therapy and massages,” he acknowledged. “She’s a beast, and very strong.”
‘Wind River’: Watch a clip:
The 10th anniversary of Kathryn Bigelow‘s Best Picture-winning Iraq War drama, The Hurt Locker, is approaching in 2018, but Renner says he hasn’t thought very much about what happened to his character, bomb defuser William James, in the past decade: “He’s not real, he’s gone. I moved on to the next thing.” Similarly, Olsen says she doesn’t dwell on where her cult escapee from acclaimed 2011 drama Martha Marcy May Marlene might be now: “I think I had a different film in my head the whole time; it was the point of view of the character. I also believe stories are framed — there’s a beginning and ending [to a movie] capturing a moment for a reason. And then I walk away.”
Olsen was able to make a valuable contribution in the Wind River editing room. Invited in to see an early cut of the film, she requested that Sheridan use an alternate take of her performance in one specific scene. “I was just thinking, ‘There are better takes of that scene, and you should go back and re-edit it,’” she says, laughing. “It was cool to be a part of that process.” Naturally, she won’t reveal which specific scene she requested be altered, so you’ll just have to make your best guess when you see the finished film.
Renner and Olsen are still in the middle of filming Avengers: Infinity War and understandably tight-lipped about spoilers. But they promise an experience that will be worth the decade-long buildup since the first Iron Man flew into theaters in 2008. “It’s a film of infinite proportions,” Olsen says, adding that she watched the D23 footage and remembers “getting emotional” about seeing the culmination of the MCU. “It turns on its head quite a bit, too, with a lot of storylines and a lot of characters,” Renner says. “We’ve got six months [of shooting] to go!”
‘Wind River’: Watch a trailer:
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