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Actor Jeremy Renner
On Not Being Stereotyped & Being A Simple Guy
November 4th, 2015

Actor Jeremy Renner is good at everything; but chances are, you already knew this. Here at The New Potato, were big fans of multifaceted tastemakers like Renner, because we constantly strive to blur the lines between industries. Its no surprise the actor is the new face of Rémy Martins One Life / Live Them campaign, which celebrates having many passions and talents rather than just one.

But really, Renners been a favorite of ours since The Hurt Locker, and after his roles in The Town and the new Bourne series we were officially converts. We caught up with Renner in a cozy corner at Omars; turns out hes a simple guy who loves a good New York Strip Steak and doesnt plan on being stereotyped

The New Potato:
From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

JR: I think its probably at home on the grill. Id make New York Strip or KC Prime. Definitely corn on the cob but its all on the grill. Smoked, the whole thing. Im like a caveman when it comes to food. I like simple a nice piece of meat and good vegetables, eaten with your hands. I love it.

TNP: This Rémy Martin campaign is about celebrating multiple talents, so how would you say you embody that?

JR: Its really how I live my life. Its how I live my life every day. This [campaign] celebrated those lifestyle choices, so it made sense to me.

TNP: In what is now a very slash culture when it comes to occupations and talents, why do you think its important for people to recognize and celebrate that concept?

JR: I speak to kids about it all the time because just as an actor, I had to fight being pigeonholed or stereotyped by any one thing and that doesnt even have to be in your job. You can be stereotyped or pigeonholed on the playground, let alone by what you choose to do for a living. I remember coming out of high school like, Okay, what do you want to do for a living? Whats going to be your job? You had to find out all of these things. Youre good with your hands, so maybe youre going to do this, or youre going to do that I just sort of refused all that. Ever since I was young, I just felt like I was going to do what I liked to do. I was going to do what my heart told me to do, and not be limited by what capitalism told me I should do, or what society told me I should do. But it takes a lot of sacrifice and a lot of courage and confidence in yourself to be willing to go fail. My Father gave me that advice when I was going to college. My Dad was an educator; he worked in the Cal State system for twenty-five years. He said, Go fail. Go discover stuff that you never thought you might want to do, or you may be good at. So I did. I went and tried a bunch of different things, from computer science to criminology, and thats where I found acting I just took an elective. Just try. If you dont try, if you dont shake the energy of the universe, its not going to give back to you. I got a lot of support and I was very blessed with that idea to go out and take charge of your life. I think thats a really important thing to teach kids.

TNP: Speaking of the Rémy Martin concept, what is your drink?

JR: With ice. Again, like I like my meal very simple. Rémy Martin is complex in its flavors but why mess it up with a bunch of other stuff? If you have a good cocktail, keep it with ice. There you go.

TNP: Whats the best advice youve ever received?

JR: I said it already. Be willing to fail. Go fail. And [my Father] still loved me it didnt matter what I wanted to be. Go fail, and its totally okay. And that means embrace your successes as well.

TNP: What is your personal grooming regimen? What are the products you cant live without?

JR: (Laughs) Again, Im a simple guy. A toothbrush? I cant live without that. I dont need very much.

What are some of your favorite workouts?

JR: Im a pretty active person. Workouts are such a big part of my work as an actor as of late. I have to train sometimes for eight hours a day; it just depends on the job. Right now, I dont do anything. Im trying to give my body a break. Im still pretty active anyway in my life doing whatever it might be, but Im not actually in the gym training or anything.

So far in your career, whats been the most memorable moment that you can think of?

JR: There are a lot of milestones for me as an actor. Dahmer was a big milestone for me; The Hurt Locker obviously was a huge milestone for me; jumping into those big franchise movies was a big learning curve and experience in a global way. The Academy Awards stuff was pretty special.

TNP: Any big milestones outside of acting?

JR: Yeah! I mean, geez, loads of things. Being a Father is the biggest thing ever in my life. Its made me realize that Ive done nothing in my life until Ive become a Father. Its not even an achievement; its just dumb luck. I just kind of fell upon it, and realized, Wow, I should have done this a while ago. I mean, there are a thousand things that I guess Id be proud of, but the most important one is being a Daddy.

TNP: What are some of your favorite food spots in LA and in New York?

JR: In New York Westville East, because I used to live in East Village. Its great. Again, its very basic stuff. You just get your fresh Brussels sprouts, and I hate Brussels sprouts, but they make Brussels sprouts fantastic. I lived right there, so I went there all the time.

There are a few good steakhouses. I love sushi. In LA I try to avoid the Hollywood hotspots that dont really have good food. Ill try to find the smaller places where I can still enjoy the meal and not get bothered while Im eating. Theyre small little cool mom-and-pop places.

TNP: Whats one thing women dont know about men that they should?

JR: Its the other way around. It seems like men dont know anything about women. But wow, I dont know. That women have all the answers.

In the same vein as what is the new black, whats the new potato right now for you?

JR: I try to keep up with stuff. I try to keep up with music, I try to keep up with technology it changes so fast so Im not that old guy, you know. Whats really fascinating to me is this autopilot thing that Tesla has come up with. Not that its the new thing, because thats going to be very difficult to happen for the masses. I own a Tesla actually, but I certainly love the idea of being off fuel. I think thats a pretty badass thing. I support that. But again, its going to take some time for the general public to be a part of that. But I think thats one of the cooler things that is happening. Technology is really fascinating to me but it changes so fast. I mean look what were doing now; were talking on your dang smartphone (recording).

TNP: As soon as you get used to one new thing, theres something else thats replaced it already.

JR: I think technology is just fascinating. Half the time it makes life more complicated when its supposed to simplify life. Its interesting to me.

*Jeremy Renner, photographed at Omars in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.

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