Jeremy Renner Talks Divorce, Finding Time for His Daughter & Flipping Houses

by Susan L. Hornik 8:39 AM PDT, June 26, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

With back-to-back movie projects (Captain America: Civil War, an upcoming Bourne sequel, and next month's Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), a pending divorce, and building his homes, Jeremy Renner might really be a superhero! The busy 44-year-old actor also spends much of his down time with his adorable 2-year-old daughter, Ava Berlin, splitting their time between two homes in Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles.

While on set in Quebec for his upcoming sci-fi film, Story of My Life, co-starring Amy Adams, Renner talked to ETonline about his life away from the cameras.

ETonline: So if you had another career, it would be contractor!

Jeremy Renner: I could definitely do that! I got kind of lucky in that world. I will continue doing that too. I enjoy doing them with my business partner, Christopher, which is great. The house that I am in was the first that I had done without him. I really enjoy it. It's one of those things that is a tangible art form to me. I like things that exist and usually provide a really nice lifestyle for a family, which feels good. It's pretty gratifying.

How are things as you deal with your divorce?

Everything is all right. Those that have done it know how it is. We are still two people who love this little girl more than anything else on the planet. 

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What do you like to do at home?

After spending two years building it, I actually really want to enjoy my time in my home! I love spending time in my garden. I just got this beautiful fountain from Avalon Fountains. Because I'm out of town shooting, I have only been able to place it in the garden, but I haven't installed it yet. It's quite big and so I am going to take my time with it. My garden has a Japanese tropical landscaping design and it’s been really fun learning about the style. So when this beautiful, handmade copper fountain came around, I thought it was a perfect fit for our house! I also have Japanese maple trees that were already on the property and I added a few more. 

I would love to plant vegetables there too, but that requires time that I do not have! There are fire pits and water features and some pruning things that need to be done too! I love to entertain at home. I'm a simple guy. I don't need to do anything too fancy!

How would you describe your interior design style?

This sounds chaotic to me. There is a rhyme or reason for everything. I like a mix of old and new. I like architectural elements; there is a color palette that's very neutral. And I like to add flavor with art and sculptures.

For my home in Lake Tahoe, which has a lovely log cabin feel, and is my main residence, I really like the natural elements. It's up 8,000 feet elevation, has beautiful trees and is probably going to add 10 quality years to my life. I am very thankful. I absolutely love that you can walk out the front door, take off, and literally be in the middle of a national forest.

What do you like about each room in your homes?

Each room has to have the feeling like you're home, no matter where you are -- the power could go off and I'd know exactly where the heck I am going. So you are not bumping into anything. It's a wonderful challenge to try to make every room feel comfortable -- like a really lovely hotel. I have been blessed to have stayed in a few fantastic ones over the years. I probably ripped some ideas off of the ones I've stayed at! 

I love nature, I am really into it. That's why I enjoy landscaping. It makes me feel like I am not raping the forest too much. It sort of feels like I am blending into the environment, as much as one can. Having solar panels, working with water in the proper ways, and staying off the grid is very interesting to me. I am pretty much off the grid for my house in L.A. and Tahoe is much tougher because the weather elements are too strong for solar.  

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Where do you like to shop for home related items?

All over the place! But mostly estate sales and auction houses. There are a few stores here and there that I like to fill in with a new piece that I might occasionally need. I also like scrap yards; I like finding some cool piece of iron that I can turn into a door handle. It's definitely a mix of old and new.

Where do you like to watch movies in your home?

I have a screening room in the house in L.A. My home in Tahoe, I have a television that I use in case we get snowed in. Otherwise, there are too many things to do up there! Rather than watch TV, I'd rather be outside, going on a pine cone hunt with my daughter!

Which house does your daughter prefer?!

She probably digs the Tahoe house, mostly, so she can swim outside! I am currently teaching her. I want to teach and show her everything I can! She takes care of me. I'd be lost without her. She rules my mornings, afternoons and evenings! And I couldn't be happier about it! 

How do you spend your mornings at your homes?

Usually with a cup of coffee and on the piano with the baby. That's how it starts. Then we hit the trampoline and get some swimming! But I don't always have the baby; it is shared time with her momma. 

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Do you cook for your daughter?

I do! I cook for her and whatever she doesn't eat, I eat. What I am really excited about -- it's hard to get kids to eat their greens.  But I make her these juices and she totally is into it which is so great! She loves it! I love making it for her; it has kale, spinach, cucumber, carrot. It's pretty much whatever I have I throw in! That's the main thing that I make consistently.

Do you still flip houses?

I don't have the time to do it right now, but I will probably get back into it when things slow down for me. But it is not slowing down anytime soon it seems, so I've had to put the brakes on that for a second. 

I just sold my other house that I lived in for a while with my family. That one didn't have a yard, so it was low maintenance. But I really like having an outdoor space.

What was it like on Captain America: Civil War?

It was amazing. I had a fun time doing that. The gang was back together, it's fantastic. It doesn't really get much better, when you are around people you like to deal with. It was pretty awesome.

And with Story of My Life, you are working with Amy Adams.

She's great. I have known her for a long time. It makes your job very easy when you are with someone who is so good at what they do. And who she is as a person, makes the whole experience even better. She is funny, smart and she has a beautiful little girl too. She brings her to the set and I get a little baby time in!

You're a motorcycle enthusiast. Did you give Tom Cruise tips while filming Mission Impossible?!

He doesn't need it! That boy can ride! He's a good rider! He's been riding for a long time.

How is Quebec? 

Beautiful! I have loved spending time here. Recently, I raced cars in Mont-Tremblant. It is a beautiful ski area with really gorgeous architecture. I had a really good time up there, it was fun. I don't have a bucket list, but it was an amazing experience, simply fantastic.

And what's next for you?

I want to be home as much as I can, as much as I can afford to. Spending time with my daughter and my family are the most important things to me.  

Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation with Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg opens in theaters on July 31, Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to be released on May 6, 2016 and Story of My Life is currently filming and slated for 2016.