Jeremy Renner: Tom Cruise Was A Great ‘Mentor & Champion’

Jeremy Renner credits his “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” co-star, Tom Cruise, with helping him get ready to take on the role of another big screen action star — Jason Bourne.

“Tom really set a high bar in how to approach a big action movie like this, so he was a great sort of mentor and champion and paved a really great path for me to physically prepare,” Jeremy told’s Laura Saltman, when asked about taking over the “Bourne” franchise, as he promoted the fourth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” series.

“Really, it’s the preparation to not be injured that was really important to me, to not be hurt, but be able to do all the things required of me,” Jeremy, who will be taking over for Matt Damon as the lead man in the “Bourne” films, added.

But when it comes to “Ghost Protocol,” Tom Cruise appears outside the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – and Jeremy was blown away by the film star’s stunt-achieving prowess.

“I think he might have an iron stomach or something, he’s fearless,” Jeremy said. “I don’t even know if it’s fearlessness as [much as] it is curiosity. I kind of look at it like opportunities… I don’t want to lay at night like, ‘Why didn’t I do that or why didn’t I try that?’ You get to do something like swing around a building like Tom does, you’d be remiss not to do that if you think you could do it.

“There’s [a] certain courage and fearlessness that comes with that, but what an amazing opportunity to do things that most people in life don’t get to try,” he added.

But would Jeremy attempt such stunts himself?

“I have no idea. I had a hard enough time just hanging out of the building. I’m a little new to this sort of environment,” he answered. “If someone gave me the opportunity, I’d do what I can to give it a go.”

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” opens on December 21, 2011.

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