Three months after the harrowing snowplow accident that nearly cost him his life, Jeremy Renner is opening up about his road to recovery in a new interview with Diane Sawyer. "I chose to survive," the actor tearfully tells Sawyer in a first-look at the special, airing in full April 6 on ABC.
When asked whether he remembers the pain of the accident, Renner, sitting across from Sawyer in a wheelchair, says, "Oh, all of it. Yeah, I was awake through every moment."
The accident occurred on New Year's Day at Renner's Reno, Nevada home. The Mayor of Kingstown star was run over by his 14,000-pound snowplow when he pushed his nephew out of the vehicle's way.
The 52-year-old actor was airlifted to the hospital for emergency surgery, having sustained life-threatening injuries, including 30 broken bones, a collapsed lung and a pierced liver. After a two-week hospital stay, Renner returned home and began physical therapy - a process he's been documenting on social media.
"I'd do it again, because [the snowplow] was going right at my nephew," Renner tells a stunned Sawyer.
The interview includes disturbing audio of the 9-1-1 call placed by Renner's neighbor, who tells the dispatcher, "Someone's been run over by a Sno-Cat. Hurry. He's been crushed. There's a lot of blood over here."
Renner can be heard moaning in pain in the background of the call. "What's my body going to look like?" he recalls thinking. "Am I just going to be a spine and a brain, like a science experiment?"
The actor chokes up as he reveals that he used sign language to tell his family "I'm sorry" in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
The special includes footage of Renner undergoing physical therapy at home, as well as an interview with the actor's nephew, who says, "I didn't think he was alive."
Renner has been sharing his rehabilitation for fans on social media, most recently posting a video of himself walking on an anti-gravity treadmill with the caption, "I now have to find OTHER things to occupy my time so my body can recover from my will."
I now have to find OTHER things to occupy my time so my body can recover from my will. #minduful #intended #recovery pic.twitter.com/TuDFSMVJHY
— Jeremy Renner (@JeremyRenner) March 26, 2023
When Sawyer asks whether the Avengers star can ever perform his own stunts on film again, Renner says that he's full of hope.
"I chose to survive, it's not going to kill me, no way," he says. "I've lost a lot of flesh and bone in this experience, but I've been refueled and refilled with love and titanium."
"Jeremy Renner: The Diane Sawyer Interview - A Story of Terror, Survival and Triumph" airs live on April 6 at 10/9c on ABC. The interview will also be available to stream on Hulu.
READ MORE: Where is 'Mayor of Kingstown' Filmed? Inside the Crime Drama's Abandoned Prisons and Picturesque Lakes
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