In the few trailers for “The Bourne Legacy”that we have seen so far, we are teased with multiple shots of Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz propelling their way through crowded streets, sidewalks and even staircases. We can’t be sure just yet what it is they are running from (or to) but the teasers are enough to promise us plenty of action and excitement. The excitement grows when we find out that nearly every scene on that motorcycle was was reportedly done by Renner and Weisz themselves.
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Weisz talks about working with Renner on the motorcycle, revealing that the chase scene is nearly 20 minutes long and hardly required any acting as she was genuinely terrified the entire time. She also confirms that both she and Renner did all of their own stunts on the bike. “We both did all the stunts. It was really us. Tony, the director, said ‘you’re doing all your own stunts,’ and I kind of thought he was joking…” Turns out, he wasn’t. Writer and Director, Tony Gilroy, who also wrote the screenplays for the previous three Bourne movies, requested that they get their hands dirty and perform some big stunts. Weisz notes that she was excited to take on the challenge. This installment of the Bourne series is Gilroy’s first directorial project, as the previous three films were directed by either Doug Liman or Paul Greengrass.
So how were they able to pull off the bike stunts at such a high level? As it turns out, Renner was already very skilled on the machine, having owned a motorcycle since his high school days. Even now, the California-born actor owns and frequently pilots a Triumph Speed Triple.
In another interview, Weisz says this about Renner: “I would say about 99 percent of the time Jeremy and I were doing the stunts. Jeremy is a really good rider. He is just very physically adept at stunts. He is agile and fluid and beautiful to watch. I felt safe with him. We practiced for a couple of weeks in a big parking lot.”
But even though he can now officially say, “I do my own stunts,” he admits that it certainly wasn’t all fun and games. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Renner said this about the motorcycle scene in Manila:
“There’s a scene when the motorcycle goes down. While we were shooting that, we were getting dragged across the concrete floor in the fish market. We slide and come to a stop. I look over at Rachel and ask if she’s okay. She looks at me like, ‘We’re OK!’ But, I look at her again, and she has little white stuff—dead fish scales—everywhere, in her nose, even on her teeth. We realized that there’s nothing glamorous about this job, even for an actor playing a spy,” he joked.
Renner may not feel glamorous now, but taking on the leading role in the latest installment of an already successful franchise is sure to pay off come release time. Then, it is us who are along for the ride. His motorcycle stunts, along with the rest of the anticipated film, will be in theaters everywhere on August 10.