Despite the rumors to the contrary, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol star Jeremy Renner insists that despite bringing his mom to the Oscars, doting on his French bulldog and having a mysterious pal with whom he sometimes lives, he’s really just not gay.
In the latest issue of Details, Renner, who’s promoting Mission Impossible and well as his role in the next Bourne film, admits that he understands where the rumors come from even though he’s not—in classic Hollywood fashion—interested in talking too much about his personal life.
"I don't pay attention to that horseshit. Build 'em up to bring 'em down?" he said. "I'm not going on that train, my son. I'm not going on that train. I'll walk. I'll take a bike." He lets out a laugh that sounds like a lawn mower starting up. "I'd rather just not be popular."
Part of the reason that rumors about Renner’s sexuality have spread is a quote that his one-time acting teacher gave that continues to come up. “I have never had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy’s boyfriend, but the fact that Jeremy is gay has never been a primary concern,” the teacher said.
Renner doesn’t quite come out and say he isn’t, but he does say that his newfound stardom has made dating quite difficult.
"There've been a handful of girls over the last years. But it's been very difficult. How does it go any further,” he asked.
Before he was famous, lack of funds and confidence made it difficult to woo anyone.
"I never dated, because I couldn't afford to date,” he said. “I didn't even have electricity. You try to put a positive spin on it, like, 'Hey, this is so sexy—look at all these candles!' But I loved what I was doing. The sacrifices I made in personal relationships had the biggest effect on my life. Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job."
And while it’s tempting to read into comments like the one, about why he got into acting—"I was a pretty happy kid," he said. "Fairly shy and happy, but underneath there were some other things going on”—until something more substantive than the word of a former acquaintance comes up, we’ll just have to believe him.
After all, maybe Renner’s not gay. Maybe he’s just lonely.
"I have a wonderful life, but it means nothing if it cannot be shared,” he told the magazine. “That's all I'm missing right now. It's a little unbalanced for me. Right now the only thing consistent in my life is that little dog. That's why I got it. I was getting really lonely. I needed somebody or something to be there with me through the whole journey."