As the father of a 3-year-old, Jeremy Renner said he faced a special challenge playing a wildlife officer who loses his child in writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s new movie “Wind River.”
The film “deals with issues that I would never want to go through,” Renner told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly at the Sundance Film Festival. “When you play a character mid-steel, it’s boring if you don’t have a lot of lava bubbling beneath it.”
For Sheridan, “Wind River” represented the third in a kind of trilogy about people often overlooked in American society, following his screenplays for “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water.”
“These films deal with fatherhood and failure,” he explained.
In “Wind River,” which Sheridan also directed, Elizabeth Olsen stars as an FBI agent who teams with Renner’s game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.
“It takes place on a reservation that’s not far from where I live,” Sheridan said. “I spent time in my 20s on a reservation of my own choosing.”
“I wanted to make a film that highlighted the really ignored element of society that’s dealing with issues that are so oppressive, that are so acute and so unnecessary,” he said. “You effect social change with the arts and that’s the way I march.”
Watch the full interview above.