Outfitted: Jeremy Renner

The Avengers and Mission Impossible star gives us a peek at the tools of the trade.

Jeremy Renner is enjoying a bit of a hot streak.

The 44-year-old actor who burst into American households with 2008’s The Hurt Locker is settling nicely into his role as action staple, making his mark as master archer Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers universe and reluctant spy William Brandt in the Mission: Impossible franchise. But Renner’s not just an actor: few fans realize that he’s not only an accomplished singer-songwriter, guitarist and drummer, but also runs a home-renovating business with best friend Kristoffer Winters.

To that end, Renner recently became the face of Rémy Martin Cognac’s new One Life/Live Them global campaign. The Oscar nominee recently shot a 60-second commercial for the brand, showing off interests and passions that even his most devoted fans may not realize he has, from acting and directing to music and design.

“They’re celebrating my life, which is great,” Renner said of the Martin campaign during a brief phone conversation with maxim. “The message is ‘None of us should be pigeonholed or identified by any single thing we do. Everything we do should be celebrated.’ I thought this was a beautiful concept, one that seemed to fit into my life. The company itself, hearing how its run and how it appreciating of the aging process and quality, really spoke to me. In todays world, how fast-moving it is, people look past where quality really comes form. I really appreciated all of these aspects of the brand.”

Maxim caught up with Renner for a 10-minute chat for our regular Outfitted feature. His responses are below.

What are the essential items you carry every day? 

Gee, I don’t actually know…a credit card, I suppose? A wallet? I always wear an elastic around my ring finger for my baby daughter. Her hair is quite long and I’m always tying it back. That’s a must. I always have that on my person. 

What’s your favorite curse word and why?

I think all of them are equally amazing. ‘Cunt’ is pretty good.

What’s one item every man should have in his wardrobe?

A baseball cap. It’s an essential, especially for me. I can hide my face from the sun, and I don’t have to do my hair at all. I don’t use product or anything. It’s just easier this way. 

What do you do when you have a free afternoon?

I don’t have free afternoons! [Laughs] I talk to reporters, I guess!

Uh, ok! Moving on. You mentioned feeling pigeonholed earlier… do you feel constrained in your role as action star at the moment?

This is what my job is. My job as an actor is to constantly explore these things. I do my best to continue stretching, to continue to challenge myself. Every role is different.

What can we expect to see from you in the future outside of the big screen?

I’m working on another house out here in California, which is chewing up a lot of my time. I’m doing more Hawkeye stuff and more Mission stuff, or course. The biggest thing that takes up my time that I really want to do is be a dad. I’m very blessed to find a handful of things that kind of define who I am in a way, but dad is the most important to me.

What’s your trajectory in the Marvel Cinematic Universe look like?

The fans probably know more than I do, when it comes down to it! Civil War is going to be great; I haven’t seen it yet. The Infinity War will start sometime in 2018, and that’s going to be huge. I’m not totally sure what that holds for my character just yet.

Any chance we’ll see Hawkeye in Dr. Strange?

I’m not quite sure. You never know in the Marvel world…I’m obviously open to the idea of Hawkeye showing up elsewhere. I’m ready to go to work and to explore.

Last question, one I’d be negligent if I didn’t ask: You’ve come under fire from critics in recent weeks for your comments on various Hollywood controversies…is there anything you want to say to your detractors? 

I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. I only pay attention to things that are ultimately really important to me. We all have freedom of speech, and I’m very proud of that in this country. 

Photos by Gardiner Anderson / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images