Jeremy Renner on gay rumours: 'Say whatever the hell you want about me'

The actor also recalls an incident in 2012 where he put a man in a sleeper-hold for directing a gay slur towards him and mocking his scarf

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Renner says he isn’t bothered by rumours about his sexuality, and that he knew he’d made it as an actor once people started caring about whether he was gay or not.

In an interview for the July/August issue of Playboy, the actor said he was surprised that when he Googled his name the suggestion ‘Jeremy Renner gay’ popped up.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, now you’ve arrived. You’re now a giant movie star,” he said.

Renner said he doesn't like responding to questions about his personal life, and that he grew frustrated with a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 for bringing it up in an interview.

In that same interview, he describes an incident where a man in a bar used a gay slur against him because he was wearing a scarf.

"This guy choked me with the scarf I was wearing, he called me a f*g because I was wearing a scarf!" he said. "Then he shoved my sister and I got behind him and I choked him out - put him to sleep."

Renner has a two-year-old daughter, Ava, with his ex-wife Sonni Pacheco. The two married in January 2014 but divorced eleven months later.

Additionally, Renner said he thought our interest in people’s sexuality is part of a larger problem.

“I don’t care, ultimately, if that’s what people want to think, read and care about. F**king say whatever the hell you want about me. Look at where we’re at socially – leaps and bounds ahead of where we started. That’s an amazing thing. To suggest that it’s negative, that being gay is a terrible thing, a perversion or whatever – I just don’t get it. Don’t you wish we were in a world where we’re not shaming, judging and boxing people in?”

Renner also talked about how being a father has changed his professional life, saying he decides what roles he takes based on what will impact Ava.

“Now, if anything takes me away and I don’t get to see her, I just won’t do it. I don’t care what you pay me. All my energy goes toward her and her well-being.”