Renner on ‘Jesse James’

Posted by · 1:02 pm · June 24th, 2009

Jeremy Renner in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordI’ve been sitting here transcribing an interview with “Hurt Locker” actor Jeremy Renner (watch for that later today or tomorrow) and came across a portion where we discussed 2007’s “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” my pick for that year’s best film and one of the best of the decade.  I don’t imagine finding a place for it in the actual interview piece but I wanted to toss up Renner’s thoughts on the making of the film:

Andrew Dominik is great with actors but it was one of the longest jobs I’ve had.  I feel like I could have shot anything I was in in probably a week and it could have been done but it was just stretched out for so long.  But the cast is phenomenal, riding horses and shooting guns, you get to play cowboys.  That’s a little boy’s dream come true if you ask me.  There were some moments shooting this thing when I was so bored out of my mind as an artist.  I was so unmotivated.  I’m sitting with Sam Rockwell and Sam Shepard and it’s probably three degrees outside and we’re shivering, it’s four in the morning, we’ve been out there for six hours, we haven’t done anything.  We have potato sacks on our heads.  We could be anybody!  What are we doing!  We were all just very frustrated as actors.  But then I went to the monitor and saw what they were shooting down below, and “Holy moly.”  It was just moving art.  Gorgeous.  Then I’m like, “Okay, I understand.  I’m glad to be a part of this process.”  Even though it didn’t do well in the box office I think that film is going to stand the test of time.  I was so happy to be a part of that.  Very blessed.

By the way, does anyone watch Renner’s ABC series “The Unusuals?”  I don’t follow TV news too closely so I actually found out about the show’s unfortunate cancellation from Renner himself, but I have to say, it’s one of my favorites right now.  Too bad it wasn’t picked up for another season.

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8 responses so far

  • 1 6-24-2009 at 1:24 pm

    James D. said...

    What a film. I hope Dominik makes a new film eventually. It took him five years to make Jesse James after Chopper, and then you tack on a two year delay, and we could be out until 2014.

  • 2 6-24-2009 at 2:51 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    Best score and best photography of ’07 for sure. I’d slightly favor “Zodiac” and “There Will Be Blood”, but 2007 was a hell of a year as you add “No Country for Old Men” to that list.

  • 3 6-25-2009 at 3:08 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I´m still waiting for that decent dvd release. The longer cut preferably.

  • 4 6-25-2009 at 5:10 am

    Liz said...

    Kris, I really enjoyed “The Unusuals.” Jeremy Renner was definitely the best part of it, but it was also the first time that Adam Goldberg hasn’t annoyed the crap out of me. Sad to see it go.

  • 5 6-25-2009 at 6:47 am

    Anthony said...

    Still the best movie of the decade, as far as I’m concerned.

    Stunning, in every way.

  • 6 6-25-2009 at 7:27 am

    Mike_M said...

    Great quote… I am in the same boat as you Kris Jesse James was my fav that year and is my fav of the decade so far.

    I watched a few of the Unusuals, it was a good show, a friend was the 2nd AD on the show, and he said Jeremy was a nice guy.

    Jonathan: I am also anticipating a new DVD/Blu release, one with the oriignal longer cut and without any DNR, the current Blu really isnt that good, but the movie was to good to not buy the day it came out.

    Maybe Criterion will grab this movie and release it at one point, since I do not think WB will do anything else with it.

  • 7 6-25-2009 at 10:39 am

    Al said...

    Does anyone know about the longer cut? Apparently the 4 hours cut ran at Venice Film Festival. When will we see this?

  • 8 6-25-2009 at 2:02 pm

    BerkeleyGirl said...

    Well, if Mr. Renner happens to read this, he’ll know that it was “Jesse James” that put him on my radar screen. He was fantastic – couldn’t wait to IMDB him as I wondered “Who IS this guy???” Unbelievably gorgeous, moving film… The only other “western” I’d really put in its class is “The Proposition.”

    Can’t wait to see “The Hurt Locker”!!!