Why didn't Jeremy Renner take the lead in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master?

Remember when Jeremy Renner had the lead in Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER long before Joaquin Phoenix came along?

Or maybe this isn't really how it was...

In an interview with Graffiti With Punctuation, Anderson was asked about Renner's involvement with the film:

SB: When I first spoke to Jeremy Renner he was disappointed that he wasn’t in the THE MASTER. Was he considered for Freddie? Did he audition?

PTA: Jeremy didn’t really audition. We were talking and there was even a moment three or four weeks into pre-production, but the script wasn’t ready and we had to call it off. By the time we got started again Jeremy was off doing other films – multiple films – and the script had taken a different path. You know, in the life of a film every one of them is different but what ends up happening is usually the right thing.

SB: He told me he wanted to work with you again. Do you think in the future you will have a role for him?

PTA: For sure. Without question.

It's weird to hear this since a couple of years back, as The Playlist points out, Renner said this about time spent with PTA and Philip Seymour Hoffman, "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil [Seymour Hoffman], Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome." Well they both agree that it wasn't working out for either party. Either way, I'm glad to hear that PTA would love to work with Renner on another project because that's something I would like to see.

Extra Tidbit: I was happy to learn via PTA that PUNCH DRUNK LOVE will be released on Blu-ray next year.



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