Pat Clark: Renner one of Hollywood’s busiest actors

pclark@modbee.comAugust 15, 2013 

Hollywood continues to be hopping for actor Jeremy Renner, who remains one busy guy.

The Modesto native and two-time Oscar nominee had a spate of movies released the past couple of years – and according to a variety of Internet sources, he’s back at it, filming new upcoming releases and in preparation to make even more.

One of the movies currently in the works is being made by his own production company, called The Combine. That film, ‘‘Kill the Messenger’’ is based on the true story of San Jose Mercury News investigative journalist Gary Webb, who wrote a series of stories alleging the CIA was involved in spreading crack cocaine in Los Angeles. Webb committed suicide in 2004.

Renner not only is a producer of the film, but stars as Webb. Other actors appearing in ‘‘Messenger’’ include Andy Garcia, Tim Blake Nelson, Oliver Platt and Barry Pepper.

No release date has been set, but the movie and Renner’s lead role already have Oscar nomination potential written all over them, just by virtue of the story line. His other in-the-works projects include fare that’s both worthy of award buzz and geared to mass appeal.

In theaters next should be “American Hustle,” which also stars Christian Bale. The film, set to be released Christmas Day, is the story of a con artist and his partner in crime, who were forced to work with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons, mobsters and politicians, according to IMDB.com.

Oscar winner Bale is getting early award chatter for the film, but don’t discount Renner for a supporting nod. In fact, ‘‘American Hustle’’ is a film made in Oscar heaven –other stars include Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro –all past runners in the Academy Award race.

Looking down the road, Renner reprises his role as Hawkeye in the next “Avengers” film, ‘‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’’ In preproduction, that Marvel-icious action film isn’t set for release until 2015.

Also reported on the Internet is a return to his role as Aaron Cross in another ‘‘Bourne’’ film. And he’s ‘‘rumored’’ on IMDB to be returning to his role of William Brandt in the upcoming fifth ‘‘Mission: Impossible’’ outing, also targeted for a 2015 release.

All that and a new daddy, too. Busy, busy, busy.

New show for Chiarello

Turlock native and celebrity chef Michael Chiarello is part of the mentor ensemble in a new TV food competition show.

‘‘Supermarket Superstars’’ currently is airing Mondays on Lifetime – right after the new season of ‘‘Project Runway.’’

On ‘‘Superstars,’’ Chiarello is the tough-love chef mentor for hopefuls vying for a chance to have their homemade products mass produced and marketed in national supermarket chains.

The Napa-based chef does his share of making the competitors shiver in their Crocs – or inappropriately high heels, depending on the individual.

Chiarello makes suggestions to the would-be superstars about improving the taste of their products, then goes all Gordon Ramsey on them when trying to rein them in on things like nutrition concerns – Oh, the sodium! Oh, the calories! – and price points that are too high.

The other two mentors are marketing guru Chris Cornyn and Debbi Fields, she of the famous chocolate chip cookie.

Cornyn, like Chiarello, has a lot of good input each week. He helps the hopefuls figure out their logos, packaging and other strategies. But Fields seems to be there mostly as a visual cautionary tale about the pitfalls of cosmetic enhancements.

I’m a sucker for just about any food competition show; add in the local connection with Chiarello, and this one’s a keeper.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at pclark@modbee.com.

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