There’s trouble on Wyoming’s Wind River Native American reservation, and it’s the personal kind for Jeremy Renner’s tracker, Corey Lambert.
In a role far removed from his high-flying Hawkeye in the “Avengers” series, Friday’s “Wind River” sees Renner, 46, as a wildlife officer reluctantly drawn into the murder investigation of a young woman by a rookie FBI officer (Elizabeth Olsen).
“For me, learning about Native American life on the reservation, the atrocities that have happened, was a great learning experience in many ways.”
Lambert, he noted, “is the only white man that’s allowed on the reservation, essentially. He’s there inadvertently because he was married to a Native American woman and he’s accepted enough into the culture to do the things he does.
“He’s a broken man trying to overcome his own personal obstacles.”
We spoke with Renner about his new thriller, his producing plans and, of course, Hawkeye.
Jeremy Renner has excelled in his career at playing everyman characters faced with difficult and often overwhelming circumstances, both in the world around them and within their own souls and hearts. Whether it’s in The Hurt Locker, The Town or Kill the Messenger -- even his Hawkeye/Clint Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is perhaps the most grounded of all the characters in that franchise, a man who sets out to do a job so he can return to his family as soon as possible.
In Wind River, Renner adds to that gallery of incisive portrayals as Cory Lambert, a game tracker for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who lives and works on the remote Wind River Reservation, where he has somehow managed to navigate politics and earn the trust of the wounded families living on the land. His discovery of a frozen body in the snow not only puts a horrifying tragedy from his own life front and center again, but triggers an investigation -- on which he teams with a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) -- that will lead Lambert into some dark corners of the region and its denizens.
Renner sat with Den of Geek recently to discuss this unsettling new film, which completes a loose thematic trilogy about the modern American frontier -- following Hell or High Water and Sicario -- from writer Taylor Sheridan, who also makes his directorial debut on Wind River. Renner himself is back in the MCU as we speak, donning his Hawkeye gear for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, and also has a comedy in the pipeline called Tag.