If you were to ask my 10-year-old son who his favorite Avenger is, he would not hesitate to say HAWKEYE. In fact, Jeremy Renner is his favorite actor. He has a Hawkeye action figure in his room and he decorated his journal with Hawkeye photos. So when I told him that I would be meeting and interviewing Jeremy Renner, he was pretty stoked. As was I. I was invited to Los Angeles to participate in the Avengers: Age of Ultron press event, where I got to see the movie early and interview the people involved in making it. Travel and accommodations were covered by Disney and Marvel, but all thoughts and experiences are my own. Movie images provided by Marvel.
Note: there is a spoiler discussed at the very end of this post. If you have NOT seen the movie and want to avoid spoilers, do not read past the question “Where do you want to see each of your characters go in the subsequent movies?” Everything else is general and spoiler-free!
Ooh, I feel like a fox in the hen house. – Jeremy Renner upon entering a room full of bloggers
What is it like to be a strong female agent surrounded by a bunch of men?
I can only imagine how intimidating it would be (at least at first) to be surrounded by the cast of the Avengers day in and day out on the set. Not only are there a lot of physically tall guys in the group, but they are…The Avengers. I’ve met Cobie Smulders one other time and know she’s got the perfect personality to hold her own, but it was still interesting to hear her perspective.
Cobie: “It’s very fun. It’s interesting because people talk about that a lot with these films that there are few females. And it’s a male driven film. But maybe it’s because this is our second one. We all get along so well. I don’t feel that divide on set. All the guys are really great and nice and….handsome, every single one of them, some more than others. I mean we have some strong female– Scarlett and now Lizzie. And it’s just nice seeing more women coming into these films.
Jeremy: “It’s good for us, too. Seriously. I mean I love Hemsworth. But, um, you know–“
Cobie talked about what it has been like to play Agent Maria Hill. When she first got the part for the first Avengers movie, she thought that she was just going to be serving coffee…
Cobie: “In the comic books Maria Hill has her own story line. And she’s very smart. She’s very independent. She’s very controlling. And it’s cool to see how now that this team is sort of under Tony’s protection and sort of funded by him how that’s working in terms of privatizing security and and her dealing with that.
It’s fun to be a part of the team but also to be like managing everybody as well or trying to anyway.”
She always hits him. I mean it’s like magic. That’s the great thing about being in these movies. You can shoot over here and that guy dies. Always hit your mark. It’s very exciting. – Cobie Smulders
What were your favorite scenes to shoot for Avengers: Age of Ultron?
I know what MY favorite scene in the movie was to watch (the after-party scene with all of the Avengers hanging around casually), but it’s interesting to see what the actors enjoy making (and then watching later). Often times, their favorites scenes are scenes that they’re not even in!
Jeremy: “Oh, no, I don’t believe in favorites. I think they’re all equally and torturous and wonderful.”
Cobie: “I shot all of my scenes in Stark Tower, in the Avengers Tower now it’s called. And I’m sure you guys all saw the movie. How amazing was that set? And it was all one set. I mean anytime that anyone was in the lab that was still on the same set. And where Tony was working on his suits was right below it. And then the bar was just a few feet away, thank goodness. And so that was really cool to play all these scenes out in one location. And it really sort of helped with performance as well.”
How did you physically prepare for an action movie like this?
I can only imagine that there is a huge physical aspect to preparing for a movie like the Avengers. We wondered how Jeremy and Cobie get ready to film, and then what the hardest scene was to film.
Jeremy: “We train. We’re in the gym lifting weights, hurting our bodies. The hardest scene to film…they’re all quite difficult, I think. The first scene we shot was the end of the movie in Italy where the chaos is going. When there’s a lot of moving parts that’s where it gets a little tricky. And then the moving parts aren’t really there in real life. So that’s a little trickier. You’re stabbing things with arrows that don’t exist and then firing arrows that don’t exist to things that don’t exist.
It’s a little tricky to be precise with it and the camera angles. It’s just technical. That makes it quite difficult ’cause of all the moving parts. But to me I think it’s fun because it’s like a dance. And there’s a technique to all that stuff. But it is quite arduous.”
Cobie: “Training….every time these movies come up, you know, a couple months before you start working out. And I did a few stunts in this one, not as the super heroes in the film. But it’s good to get in shape. And in terms of the most difficult scene, I feel like in this movie there’s a lot of scenes where we’re all in the scene together–“
Jeremy: “Those are all difficult scenes, right?”
Cobie: I”Yes, we have a lot of fun together. But it’s a hard group to wrangle as well. But, these scenes, we take multiple days to shoot them ’cause there’s so much coverage. So on the third day you’re like, wait, what are we doing? And what is the scene? And what did I say? And you sort of feel like you’re in this Groundhogs Day where you’re doing the same thing over. But you’re trying to remember exactly how you did it the day before. And so that’s challenging.
I mean that’s not a hard thing. But it can get a little bit tiring at times.
I did a lot of (target practice) for the first one. I did a lot of training ’cause I was actually quite terrified of guns. I kind of got over that fear through doing the first one. And then the second one you always have a day or two with whichever crewmember is sort of in charge of that, to do some training beforehand. And, you know, I hope I look like I knew what I was doing.”
Where do you want to see each of your characters go in the subsequent movies?
Cobie: “You know, there’s so many different directions. There’s a plethora of comic books and cartoons and all these things that they could pull from. So for me personally it’s hard to say. I mean it’d be cool to learn more about Marie Hill’s past and sort of how she came to be where she is. It’s very much under Marvel’s control. And they’re very great at choosing great storylines. So we’ll see.”
Jeremy: “Yeah, for me, I have a lot of ideas. But it doesn’t really ultimately matter. I think the relationships are kind of what are interesting in this world with others. And I’d just like to see the new ones start and others fade or deepen. I think that’d be interesting. That’s what I’d be curious about with the next films.”
Do you see Hawkeye as a good role model for dads?
Jeremy: “As far as like a role model I don’t know. Those are always hard to talk to. I think you’d have to ask my daughter if I’m a good daddy role model.
I think it’s a cool aspect to the character that was brought up. It was brought up actually for the first Avengers but not even nearly as cool because they were gone. But in this one, it’s a fantastic sort of reveal that he’s just… he’s a daddy. And that’s what he fights for ’cause I think it’s a very emotional thing — for me personally it’s a very emotional thing. I think just in general that audiences can kind of grab on to that. ‘Cause it’s something very real.
As soon as a five year old ran up to me that changed the game. I’m like, oh, wow, I have a five year old. And that’s amazing…. But when the little kids come on up to you, it just crushes me. And I mean I’ll stop and do anything for a little creature, man. I’m crazy about them.”
I was excited for my family to see Hawkeye’s family, and was eager to hear their reactions after they saw the movie this weekend. They all LOVED the family aspect of Hawkeye’s character in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I thought the fact that Clint Barton/Hawkeye is a loving husband and involved dad added an amazing dimension to his character. I was a little surprised to see that he had kept his family a secret even from the rest of the Avengers (besides “Aunt Nat,” of course), but I know he kept them a secret to protect them.
If you’ve seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, what did you think about Hawkeye’s “secret” family?
Be sure to check out the rest of my Avengers posts and stay tuned as I add more exclusive coverage in the coming weeks!
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Spoiler-free Review
- Producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige Chats About Avengers: Age of Ultron
- When Joss Whedon says cross your arms, you cross your arms (and other Avengers-speak!)
- That Time I Was Sandwiched Between Thor and Captain America (Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans Interview)
- Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Join The Avengers: Exclusive Interview With Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen
- Avengers: Age of Ultron Coloring Pages #Printables
- Avengers Easter Eggs
Follow Avengers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/avengersnofollow
Visit the official website: http://marvel.com/avengersnofollow
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….and then be sure to catch it in theaters NOW!
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