Jeremy Renner has been known for his acting ability for years, but the public is just now learning about his incredible inner strength and determination.
After being crushed by a 7-ton snowplow in a near-fatal accident on New Year’s Day, Renner is speaking out about his experience, saying his injuries were so severe that he wasn’t sure what his quality of life would be like after or if his body would even be left intact.
Confirming that he remembered every moment of the aftermath from the accident, he said in an upcoming interview, “I sort of moved my legs and I said, ‘Oh, that one… that one’s really messed up… oh yeah, that leg’s gonna be a problem.'”
“And then you’re like, ‘What’s my body look like, am I just gonna be like a spine and a brain, like a science experiment? Is that my existence now? What’s my existence gonna be like?'”
JEREMY RENNER WROTE ‘LAST WORDS’ TO FAMILY AFTER SNOWPLOW ACCIDENT: ‘IT WOULD’VE BEEN A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE’
The interview, which airs tonight on ABC, was conducted by Diane Sawyer, and the journalist appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning to promote it. She also brought along a lengthy new teaser that aired on the show.
This clip begins with Sawyer approaching Renner’s home expecting to see the actor in bad shape as he recovers from such serious injuries – she notes the interview was done just 10 weeks after the accident – but instead, Renner is up and about, dancing to a Journey song and spending time with his large family.
He did use a walker to approach her, and he told her that he “just got upright yesterday,” but she was clearly amazed to see him in such good spirits.
The video then cuts to the 911 call made by Renner’s neighbor, Rich Kovach, who appears in the interview along with his partner, Barb Fletcher.
JEREMY RENNER SAYS HE’S ‘OVERWHELMED’ BY GOODNESS AFTER DEVASTATING SNOWPLOW ACCIDENT
“It was the blood,” Kovach told Sawyer, “the amount of blood, and then he was just in such pain, and the sounds that were coming out of him, and there was so much blood in the snow. And then when I looked at his head, it appeared to be cracked wide open and I could see white. I don’t know if that was his skull, maybe it was just my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw.”
Fletcher came to help, and she brought towels so that she could apply pressure to Renner’s injuries.
“I could tell he was really struggling to breathe,” she recalled.
Alex Fries, Renner’s nephew, was also by his side – the actor has previously explained that the accident happened because he was trying to prevent the snowplow from hitting Fries.
“We just endured. That’s real love. Suffering, but that feeds the seeds of what love is.”
He said he held his uncle’s arm up a certain way because it seemed to allow him to breathe a bit more easily, and he held him until help arrived.
In a segment of the interview previously unreleased, Sawyer spoke with Renner’s mother, who quickly got emotional and expressed hesitation at even doing the interview.
After she was able to gather herself a bit, she said that when Renner arrived at the hospital, “He was intubated, he was out. His breathing was so horrible.”
The Marvel star said his mother stayed by his side throughout it all and even read to him, an occurrence he found a lot of joy in recalling.
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“So she’s reading Stephen King,” he laughed animatedly, “some like horror thing, but she just wants to read like she’s reading Dr. Seuss, like you know, ‘How now brown cow?’”
“It happened to be what I was reading at the time,” his mother explained, shrugging with a smile. “But I just wanted him to hear my voice.”
Renner also discussed how he’s “shifting the narrative” of this story to one that he believes suits the situation better.
“I refuse to be f—ing haunted by that memory, that way,” he said firmly. “This is what I talk to my family about, from all their perspectives, which are horrifying, that I put upon them …”
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His voice wavered, but he continued, saying, “We just endured. That’s real love. Suffering, but that feeds the seeds of what love is.”