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Jeremy Renner Says Tom Cruise Gave Him the Hard Sell to Join 'Mission: Impossible'

Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

Jeremy Renner didn’t set out to star in multiple film franchises, but that’s what happened — thanks, in part, to Tom Cruise. Renner was already feeling the pressure of doing Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and The Avengers back-to-back, when Cruise ambushed him with the possibility of a Mission: Impossible movie. And in typical Tom Cruise fashion, he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Here’s how Renner remembered it: The actor tells MTV News that he showed up for a meeting with J.J. Abrams about his sci-fi film Super 8, when the director asked him out of the blue, “What do you think of Mission: Impossible?” Abrams’ next question: “Do you want to go meet Tom right now?” So Renner from went from his J.J. Abrams meeting to an impromptu meeting with Tom Cruise at Paramount Studios. Renner says that Cruise spent ten minutes telling him,“You gotta do this movie” — meaning the fourth Mission: Impossible film that would eventually be Ghost Protocol, which didn’t even have a script at that point.

“It was a strange experience and an interesting meeting,” Renner told MTV. He declined to commit right away and headed home to mull it over. “And by the time I get home on my motorcycle, I get off my helmet, and the phone rings, and it’s Tom calling me at my house. I’m like, ‘That’s weird, Tom Cruise is calling me at home’…. So he’s like, ‘Are we doing this? Come on, are we doing it?’ So now all of a sudden I’m signed on to do three Mission: Impossible movies with Tom.”

the Team for Missions:Impossible — Ghost Protocol
the Team for Missions:Impossible — Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise and the team in ‘Ghost Protocol’

Ah, the patented Tom Cruise method of persuasion! Afterwards, when Renner was shooting Hansel and Gretel, he was approached about the Bourne franchise“I get a call — ‘They’re looking to do another Bourne,’” Renner recalled. “I’m like, ‘Well yeah, it’s awesome, but now?… I’m tired! I still have to do The Avengers! Why didn’t you come to me first with that?” Ultimately, he agreed to sign on for multiple Bourne movies as well.

Though he admits to occasional “franchise fatigue,” Renner manages to make independent films — like his latest, Kill the Messenger — in between big budget epics. Still, he sometimes worried that he’s signed too much of his life away. “It’s hard to think about what you’re doing tomorrow let alone six years,” he told MTV. “When you have an Avengers conversation, you’re talking about signing on for, like, seven movies; that’s just how they do things. I’m like, ‘Hold on, seven – what am, I, 55 [years old] in tights, for God’s sake?’ I can’t think about those things, man!”

See Renner and Cruise in action in the Ghost Protocol trailer:

Photo credits: Paramount Pictures