Actor Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, was less than pleased with how his character was portrayed in the first Avengers film. Renner made his debut in the MCU with a cameo appearance in the first Thor movie.
In an interview to the Los Angeles Times, Renner candidly said that he wasn’t on board with director Joss Whedon’s decision to leave Hawkeye in a hypnotised state for nearly the entire film. In The Avengers, Hawkeye is put under Loki’s spell and made to do the villain’s bidding. “At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden…” Renner said.
Asked which version of the character he preferred, Renner continued, “I prefer the good, because if we go to the evil part, or hypnotized or whatever the heck you want to call it, it’s kind of a vacancy. Not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him.”
The actor, who most recently reprised the role in Avengers: Endgame, added, “The interesting part was being guilty about the bad things I did do when I was hypnotized. I think he’s already an interesting enough character. To really kind of take away who that character is and just have him be this sort of robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses. Again, I could just focus on the task. I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. So yeah, fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No.”
Whedon more than made it up to Renner when he fought Marvel to retain scenes set at Hawkeye’s ranch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Renner said in a later interview to FlickeringMyth, “The reason why I like Clint is because he’s human. He’s just a guy with a high skill set, and I can relate to that. He just wants to build upon that, and we came up with the idea of him having a family and it made it into Ultron.” He said that in Age of Ultron, “We did get to bring in a lot of that cool stuff that we initially talked about for the character.”
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