Renner & Olsen Explain The Importance of Wind River's Story

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner are both internationally renowned actors, thanks in part to their work respectfully playing Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Renner is best known for his work in the action franchise Mission: Impossible and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in The Hurt Locker and The Town. Olsen broke out with the film Martha Marcy May Marlene and has gone on to play a variety of roles in historic biopics, horror films, and the Godzilla reboot.

Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Elizabeth and Jeremy on press day, where we discussed why the story of Wind River is so important to tell, what snow blindness is, and how much the elements influenced the power of the storytelling in Wind River.

Why is this story important for you guys to tell?

Jeremy Renner: For me I wanted to explore that father role and loss and the challenges that it came with. I really wanted to explore that.

Elizabeth Olsen: Something that came up before with research and then filming and then after is just the relationship to women who have been assaulted and the lack of justice that comes to victims or survivors. People like to be called different things. And that’s become a much more personal thing because of this film even though I haven’t personally experienced anything remotely like that but, aside from it being on a reservation, I just think it is something that is in our world that doesn’t get as much attention as it should in the media and in the justice system.

I completely agree with you. A big part of this film was the nature element of this movie and I had read that you had suffered from snow blindness at some point?

Elizabeth Olsen: [laughs] Right. I didn’t actually go blind, but that is what everyone was like that’s what snow blindness is. It was when we were filming outside and everyone was like, “Do you want sunglasses? Do you want an umbrella?” And I was like, “No. Thank God, the sun is out!” And then my eyes, I don’t know if you remember this but we went out to dinner that night and my eyes got completely red and watery and then I had to go do Kimmel the next Monday or something like that.

Jeremy Renner: I don’t remember.

Elizabeth Olsen: You don’t remember that? I mean, it’s such a big deal. I really played the victim with that.

Jeremy Renner: Eh. I don’t pay attention to that.

Elizabeth Olsen: No. I also told myself that I was the idiot who was in the snow in the bright sun. It’s just reflectors. Basically the ice is just reflectors straight into your eyeballs. You are supposed to wear some sort of protection, but I didn’t want it because I didn’t want those indents while I was on camera. [laughs]

Jeremy Renner: [laughs]

So the elements definitely played a part in helping your characters out a little bit to experience what it was like.

Jeremy Renner: Yeah. Sure. The weather is definitely something that was a beautiful thing. It’s unapologetic sort of storytelling and raw and truthful. The elements as well as the writing work together.

You deliver this monologue about your daughter and what happened to her after the family leaves and they have this party and it was so emotional. How much research did you do on the actual character that you portrayed that Cory was based on?

Jeremy Renner: Really none. The events that happened in the movie are all based on events that happened, that happen way too often, on a reservation. So if there is a guy that I play, I don’t know him. This is a character that I just made up I suppose from an amazing piece of writing. There’s not a person that I spoke to about that.

Interesting. Well, you guys have great amazing chemistry. I just had to ask out of curiosity because the chemistry, obviously, you have it and this is the third film I believe?

Jeremy Renner: Mmmhmm.

Captain America: Civil War - Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)

In Infinity War do you have this sense of an older surrogate brother taking Scarlet Witch in? Is that played out at all in Infinity War?

Jeremy Renner: Well, I can’t really speak to those movies, man.

Elizabeth Olsen: I know. Yeah. They don’t even show us the scripts.

Jeremy Renner: Yeah. Exactly. [laughs]

Elizabeth Olsen: They only show you your pages.


Elizabeth Olsen: Yeah! [laughs] We don’t even know what they are about.

Jeremy Renner: Yeah. We have no idea. Couldn’t tell you. Couldn’t tell you.

Elizabeth Olsen: Yeah. It’s lucky being able to work with each other again and again. It’s been fun.

MORE: Watch the Wind River Trailer

Key Release Dates
  • Wind River (2017) release date: Aug 04, 2017
Dan Stevens as David Haller in Legion and Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier
Legion Was The Real End Of Fox’s X-Men (& Showed What They Got Right)

More in SR Originals