Hollywood is a place where friendships can often grow, even on the busiest of film sets. However, you cannot help but laugh at the unexpected source of comedy when an actor mocks his director’s accent in inappropriate jest. One such instance involved the talented actor Jeremy Renner joking around with his Arrivals director about subtle linguistic differences.
The mysterious arrival of extraterrestrial beings on Earth served as the central theme of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Arrival. Given the serious subject matter, one might have expected the set to be filled with seriousness, silence, and awe, but this was probably not the case, at least with Renner.
The acclaimed French-Canadian director, renowned for his extraordinary cinematic vision, fostered a creative environment that his cast embraced. Renner, however, could not help but chuckle when the topic of Villeneuve’s accents was brought up.
Arrival Director’s Accent Made Jeremy Renner Laugh on Set
Jeremy Renner, who is well known for his adaptable acting abilities, played Ian Donnelly in Arrival, a film that was nominated for eight Academy Awards. The actor could not help imitating Denis Villeneuve’s thick French accent during one of his prior visits to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He said to the host:
“He [Denis Villeneuve] did Sicario  and Prisoners  and a really fantastic, fantastic director. He’s French- Canadian so there’s weird words in the lost in translation kind of stuff. And he’d be speaking very softly and I can’t do his accent. But there’s a translation of O’s and U’s and as he would tell us  ‘we are going to take the camera and instead of instead of saying ‘focus’ we are going to f**k us’.”
Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams, was a linguist employed by the US Army to learn how to communicate with extraterrestrial visitors to Earth before hostilities started.
Arrival earned $203 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics who praised Adams’s portrayal, Villeneuve’s directing, and the movie’s examination of extraterrestrial intelligence.
Jeremy Renner Cried After Watching the Final Cut of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival
He took a deep breath and appeared to struggle for the right words to describe his experience working on the film, despite admitting that he occasionally watched an early cut of Villeneuve’s work. Nevertheless, the renowned actor was able to express how impressed he was by the latter’s accomplishment as he told GQ:
“It’s funny that you say that. I don’t really watch anything I do, except for maybe like an early cut of something, or yea, that’s exactly the feeling I got when I saw that. Didn’t know much of what was going to happen in terms of, it was a very, very sparse film. The character was limited in the sense of what we could tell in the story, cause it’s such a rug-pull. When I saw that, I remember exactly where I saw that. I remember exactly what happened. I had to just sit and be like ‘God damn’, I mean, I said ‘that’s a f***ing filmmaker’ and I walked out and I started weeping.”
Before Villeneuve changed the title of his 2016 film to Arrival, the film was originally called Story of Your Life, as he revealed to Deadline:
“From the start, it was clear we were going to change the title because I thought we were taking big liberties with the original text. We got further away from the short story, which focused principally on language, and Eric had brought a tension in the script and a problematic that didn’t belong to the short story. I found it wasn’t faithful, so I wanted to take a distance from it out of respect for Ted Chiang’s story, and also because we found the title worked very well for a short story, but in general, people around me and myself reacted that it sounded more like a romantic comedy and not really a science fiction film. So we did a long, long, long brainstorm. I saw hundreds of titles, and we went back to the first one that was suggested by one of the producers three years before — Arrival — which seemed to me the best. Even if it wasn’t ideal, it was the best.”
Villeneuve was well-regarded for his directing work on Prisoners in 2013 and Sicario in 2015 before the success of Arrival. His next film, Dune: Part Two will be released on March 14, 2024.
You can stream Arrival on Netflix and Paramount Plus.