Actor Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later, The Assassination of Jesse James) stopped by the Summit Entertainment film preview at New York Comic Con, to discuss his role in Kathryn Bigelow’s (Point Break, Blue Steel) Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker.
One aspect of the film that he made clear from the start, was that it isn’t particularly a war film – it’s an action film first. There’s no politics injected, and its focus is essentially a character study, centering on his character – a badass and sometimes reckless bomb diffuser named Staff Sergeant William James – and two others – Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, played by Anthony Mackie, and Specialist Owen Eldridge, played by Brian Geraghty. All are members of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit stationed in Iraq, weaving their way through post-apocalyptic-looking cities where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.
The clip screened established the characters of the EOD Unit – Staff Sgt. James (Renner), the bomb handler, is fearless and ultimately a genius at his job; Sgt. Sanborn (Mackie), the unit’s leader, is disciplined and pragmatic; and Eldrige (Geraghty), is brave, but inexperienced. It features the entire team stumbling upon a massive explosive device in the trunk of a car, and Renner’s efforts to diffuse it, without being blown to pieces. It’s an intense scene, to say the least.
After the clip, Renner also discussed the training he received with an actual Bomb Squad, which included carrying 100 paperclips while wearing a 100 lb. bomb suit, and what it was like filming in the extreme temperatures of Amman, Jordan.
The Hurt Locker has been screening at film festivals around the globe and was recently picker up by Summit for distribution in the U.S. It co-stars Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Christian Camargo, Suhail Aldabbach, Evangeline Lilly, Sam Spruell, Sam Redford, Erin Gann and Justin Campbell, and is due in theaters later this year.
Below is a trailer for The Hurt Locker.