Fans treated actor Jeremy Renner to a standing ovation as he walked on stage with the help of a cane and took a seat for his panel discussion at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2023 on Friday, June 2.
It’s been five months since the actor was run over by a snowplow weighing more than 14,000 pounds outside his Nevada home, an accident that landed him in critical condition with blunt chest trauma and more than 30 broken bones.
The panel opened with Renner addressing the incident.
“Under the snowplow, it’s a different view,” he said. “But you know, no harm no foul, essentially. I’m coming back stronger.”
He’s been in recovery since the accident on Jan. 1, he said, drawing loud applause after saying, “It’s glorious to be full of love and titanium.”
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He couldn’t be more blessed or happier, Renner said, noting that Fan Fusion at the Phoenix Convention Center was his first major outing since the accident.
“Everything is more wonderfully sensitive” now, he said. “The coffee’s stronger. Everything is just more intense since the accident. I’m not sure why, but it’s pretty killer because everything is just that much better. And being here is one of those things.”
Asked by a fan when he might return to work as an actor, Renner assured us that we haven’t seen the last of him.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “My priorities have always been the same. They’ve been to my daughter and whatever my daughter allows me to do.”
Renner said his daughter is 10. When he talks to his agents, Renner said, he tells them, “Just ask my daughter if it’s OK if Daddy goes and does this thing.”
He's always happy to work, Renner said.
“If Marvel wants me back in the MCU, rocking that out, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I love those guys.”
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In the meantime, he’ll be going back to starring in “Mayor of Kingstown” “as soon as these legs or hopefully my whole body is strong enough to stand up all day long.”
He tried standing up for photographs at Fan Fusion and had to take a seat, he said.
“That’s very telling of me and my physical health, how far I still have to work this summer to get back to filming on camera. Those are 18-hour days, you’ve got to realize.”
At one point, a fan asked, “What’s the most exciting thing that you’re ready to work on?”
Without missing a beat, he quipped “stretching.”
But the discussion wasn’t all about his accident.
Renner talked about riding a snowmobile to work during the filming of “Wind River” (“a very special film for me”) and filming his first movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hawkeye, thinking, “I don’t know how you’re gonna put Fabio in the air with a hammer.”
He was heartfelt and candid and funny and just really down to earth, frequently bringing the conversation around to the daughter he clearly adores and can’t pick up right now.
Not once did Renner come across as feeling sorry for himself.
“I get to play make believe for a living,” he said. “I feel very blessed.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Jeremy Renner on his recovery from horrific snowplow accident