‘Thoughtfulness doesn’t really sound like a superpower. But it is! And it’s required in every superhero, to be successful and compassionate. And every human can have that superpower too,’ says Jeremy Renner, who reprises the role of Hawkeye in Marvel’s new spin-off show.
As a fellow member of the media put it, “I have not seen anything more New York-centric, Christmassy, and violent since Home Alone 2.”
These are the very elements that constitute Hawkeye, Marvel’s new show that sees Jeremy Renner reprise the role of the Avenger. Joining him in this spin-off series is Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Kate Bishop, an ardent fan and unlikely ally to Renner’s Clint Barton. Below are edited excerpts from an interaction where the two actors discuss what makes Hawkeye a complex Christmas story, their interpersonal equation in the show, and what shape the titular character’s arc takes from here.
I think the biggest change ultimately has been the losses. It’s been managing the losses of everyone he’s known closely, from Natasha (Romanoff aka Black Widow) to the Avengers. It’s a giant weight he carries on his back, of five years of Ronin. Wonderfully, we get to explore those changes, those feelings on this show. We have six hours to explore it, and there are new characters who help with that.
Well, the story takes place after Endgame. We see Clint going on a vacation with his family to New York for Christmas. He’s not in Avenger mode; he’s in dad mode. But he’s still carrying the weight of what happened in Endgame. How Kate enters his life and makes him explore similar depths is something that the show would explore. He’s always had badass women partners, from Wanda (Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch) to Natasha to now Kate. I think Hawkeye is an exploration, for those who’re late to the game, of where his superpower really lies. We’re not in the midst of some chaos. We start off in the Christmas spirit in New York with snow, songs, and ice skating. And somewhere in the middle of that lies the tenacity, the strength.
And every human can have that superpower too. I just love that he can prove to the world that he can succeed with all his reckless thoughtfulness and irreverence.
Even before the discovery of Hawkeye, Kate’s hero is her father. He always looked eye-to-eye with her. He sees the level of ambition in her, and the reckless within her. She dreams big, and is very daring. Her dad enabled and supported that. When she finds Hawkeye after the loss of her father, I think she sees a lot of similar qualities. So I looked at the people in my family, my parents, those who’ve grown with me, the ones who I’m the closest to. I looked at them, how they see the world, and how they channelled the wild card, the recklessness, and the ambition within to turn it into something successful.
The biggest challenge really is to shoot at the pace of this show. That’s the case with any project really. But in this case, you’re making a six-hour movie at the same pace at which you make a two-hour movie. Trying to develop this character and developing this dynamic on the go, at the speed at which we were moving to get things done, was helpful as much as it was challenging. We were thrown into the deep end. But one had to balance the many layers of this character, and of this show, since there are many. The emotional depth, and the reality of a lot of situations they’re in can be tragic, then to find the humour, the Christmas joy, and with all the action and the physical side of it — it can be quite challenging.
Well, I don’t have a crystal ball. I have no idea. You’re going to have to watch the show. Maybe that’ll tell you, or maybe it won’t. Anytime you want to go into the future tense with an MCU discussion, it’s all going to be dead in the water. (laughs) You’ve gotta know this by now. We can’t talk about anything that’s in the future of the MCU — because we don’t know. It’s beyond our control.
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