Jeremy Renner must be pretty happy these days with his role as superhero archer Hawkeye, who’s appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011 and had a key role in multiple record-breaking movies – but as it turns out, the actor wasn’t always so chuffed about playing Clint Barton.
In fact, for a while he wanted him dead.
“I never really told anybody this,” the actor said during a Q and A at London Film and Comic-con, “but in the first Avengers… I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I’m like Loki’s minion.
“And I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I’m a little frustrated, because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was.”
Still, Renner’s response to his less-than-exciting role (where he spent most of the film brainwashed by Tom Hiddleston’s villainous Loki) was simple – give the filmmakers lots of opportunity to kill off his character and set him free from the movie.
Renner as the brainwashed Hawkeye
“I just had a heart attack in every scene – I’d just be walking with… Scarlett Johansson, and just like be ugh,” Renner said, clutching his chest theatrically.
“And they said, ‘what are you doing man?’
“I’m giving you an option, if you just want to kick me out of this movie. Just you know, at any given moment, if you wanna kill me off, daddy’s gonna be having a heart attack.”
In the end though, Renner made it through the story unscathed, and says that the expanded role Hawkeye has had in the Marvel films since has made him keen to stay among the living.
“I don’t really want him to die now,” Renner told the crowd. “I really got to explore him a lot, and I can’t wait to explore him more, and there’s some really cool ideas coming up.
“Really cool ideas. Great deaths! Amazing ways to die.”
Presumably, there may even be one or two exciting heart attacks.
Avengers: Infinity War will be released in summer 2018
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news