Interview: Talking The Hawkeye Initiative With Jeremy Renner
RUN, TUMBLR, RUN!
RED ALERT. RED ALERT. Jeremy Renner knows about the Hawkeye Initiative now, and we have Game of Thrones recapper Kristy Puchko to thank. The following was originally posted on her blog and has been republished with permission.
For Cinema Blend, I sat down with Jeremy Renner to talk about his electrifying political thriller Kill the Messenger. Towards the end of the interview, I asked the man who brought Hawkeye to the big screen if he was aware of the superhero’s unique branch of fan art known as “The Hawkeye Initiative.” He was not. This outtake tells what happened.
Kristy Puchko (KP): I’m curious, are you aware of The Hawkeye Initiative?
Jeremy Renner: No.
KP: Okay, so The Hawkeye Initiative is essentially a fan-generated movement that discusses the way women are portrayed in comics, by replacing them with Hawkeye. So here’s some examples. (I showed him this one, this one, that one, and this cosplay.)
Renner: They replace women with Hawkeye?!
KP: The idea is that is an actual comic book panel. And this is something the fan drew to compare the way men and women are presented in comics. Hawkeye has become kind of the central focus of this.
Renner: Right. (Chuckles as he stares at my iPad of Hawkeye Initiative fan art)
KP: So you weren’t even aware of The Hawkeye Initiative?
Renner: No. (Still laughing)
KP: There are literally hundreds of images of your Hawkeye in all these different forms, including cosplay where men try to achieve the back-breaking poses that show off their chests and behinds. (He laughs.) Now that I’ve exposed you to it, what are your thoughts on The Hawkeye Initiative?
Renner: Well, I’d have to know more about it. At first glance, it’s terrifying. Maybe there’s something—um—I’m trying to figure out why–is it sort of a commentary on how women are portrayed in comics? As sex symbols only?
KP: It’s meant to draw attention to how the genders are portrayed differently within comics, yes. And I think because—I don’t know if you’re aware of the Tumblr fandom of yours—
KP: You have a huge Tumblr fandom that thinks that you are just the sexiest thing ever.
KP: So those two things have kind of dove-tailed into this explosion of fan art.
Renner: That’s awesome! I don’t go on Tumblr. I don’t go on any of ’em, I just go on the Who Say and they kind of goes to—I don’t know. I’ve never heard of such a thing. What’s that on Twitter?
KP: It’s on Tumblr—it’s called The Hawkeye Initiative.
Renner: Hawkeye Initiative. All right!
As I left, he asked me again for the name of this Tumblr. Hawkeye is now aware of The Hawkeye Initiative. I wish I had video so you all could have seen the bewildered look and then creeping smile that crossed Jeremy Renner’s face as he discovered this distinctive fandom. But now he knows. And I’ll bet he’s getting acquainted with his Tumblr love now.
Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) is a New York-based film critic, entertainment writer, and co-host of the movie review podcast Popcorn and Prosecco. When she’s not eat/sleep/breathing all things film, she can be found nerding out over board games, Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, or Jeff Goldblum.