Jeremy Renner says Robert Downey Jr. suggested breaking Chris Hemsworth’s knee when they first met for ‘Avengers’ because he was too tall and good-looking

The Avengers team in 'The Avengers.'
Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson in ‘The Avengers.’ Disney/Marvel Studios
  • Jeremy Renner recalled working with Chris Hemsworth on the set of the 2012 movie “The Avengers.”
  • Renner said that Robert Downey Jr. jokingly suggested breaking Hemsworth’s knee. 
  • According to Renner, Downey Jr. said: “This guy’s too good-looking. He’s too tall, he’s too charming.”

Jeremy Renner said that Marvel costar Robert Downey Jr. jokingly suggested breaking Chris Hemsworth‘s knee when they first met the Australian actor because they thought he was too tall and attractive. 

“If you’ve ever played any sport, you’re kind of joining a new team,” Renner said of being part of an ensemble cast in 2012’s “The Avengers” during a new interview for the podcast “Armchair Expert” with hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. 

Renner actually made his Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in an uncredited appearance in Hemsworth’s first standalone “Thor” film, released in 2011. Renner appeared in a scene midway through the film as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents infiltrated the satellite crash site where Thor’s hammer landed. 

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in 'Thor.'
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in ‘Thor.’ Disney/Marvel Studios

Renner’s archer was properly introduced the following year in “The Avengers.”

In the superhero film, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury reactivated the “Avengers Initiative” and assembled a group of extraordinary people to stop Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s brother, from invading and conquering Earth with an army called the Chitauri.  

The original Avengers team was comprised of Hawkeye, Thor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). 

“I knew Downey and I knew Scarlett before,” Renner said in his “Armchair Expert” interview. “I just didn’t know Hemsworth.”

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in 'The Avengers.'
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in ‘The Avengers.’ Disney/Marvel Studios

“From what I hear, he’s a pretty great guy,” Shepard said in response. 

Renner agreed, calling Hemsworth “amazing,” but explained that he didn’t know that when they first interacted with each other. 

“On the first day, we’re all kind of parading around in our costumes,” the “Hurt Locker” actor recalled. “So it looks like it’s Halloween. We’re excited and equally feeling ridiculous. I feel like we all kind of knew each other, somehow someway. Except we didn’t know this Hemsworth guy because he comes from Australia.”

Renner continued: “He’s the tallest, he’s the most good-looking. Downey was like, ‘We gotta break his knee. We gotta take him out. This guy’s too good-looking. He’s too tall, he’s too charming, fuck this guy.'”

The Avengers team in 'The Avengers.'
Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo in ‘The Avengers.’ Disney/Marvel Studios

Renner, Downey Jr., Hemsworth, and the rest of the cast ended up becoming friends and costars in the decade that ensued, costarring in multiple MCU projects. To commemorate their longtime friendship, the actors (minus Ruffalo, who chickened out) got an Avengers tattoo with a design that paid homage to all six of the main characters. 

Renner said that their tattoos were a symbol of “our bond and love.”

“The greatest thing that ever came from the last 11 years of the Marvel world, for me or even all of us, is the original ‘A’ six have been along the whole journey,” he said. “There have been marriages and divorces and kids born and a lot of shifts and changes in our personal lives as well as our acting lives that we all share together in a very specific way.”

Renner also described his costars as “family to me and you can’t replace that or quantify it.”

“Everyone’s a celebrity in their own right,” he said. “But a Marvel celebrity, especially as the original six, has just been a different kind of journey.”