Wind River stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen were full of praise for first-time director Taylor Sheridan — the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario and last year’s best picture contender Hell or High Water — at Wednesday night’s L.A. premiere sponsored by Fiji Water and held at the Ace Hotel.
“Being a director is all about perspective. Taylor’s perspective as a writer comes across in the first 10 pages,” Renner said. “I get where he’s going. He is patient and raw and unapologetic and harrowing. And when you get that in the first 10 pages you are like, ‘Oh, fuck.'”
In fact, Renner so enjoyed working with Sheridan that he vowed, “The next job I do, outside of the Avengers, that I’m doing now, will be with him. Otherwise, I probably won’t be on the screen.”
Wind River, being released by The Weinstein Co., follows an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) and a expert tracker (Renner) on a Native American reservation in Wyoming as they try to discover the circumstances of a young girl’s murder.
“He is one of the most direct communicators I know,” added Olsen outside the Ace Theater in downtown L.A. “It was a nice creative experience because we know we aren’t going to offend one another. We are just trying to make the best film possible.”
As for why he chose Wind River as the first feature to direct, Sheridan offered, “There were elements of this vision that I wanted to see through. I wanted it to be told a certain way, and the only way to do that was to direct it.”
Up next for Sheridan is another first: television. He has written and will direct a drama about billion-dollar land developments that will star Kevin Costner for the Paramount Network.
“I am shooting it like a movie, much to the horror of the network,” Sheridan said. “So, it’s either gonna look like a really long movie, which is my design, or it’s gonna be an abject failure. I don’t know which one yet.”
Wind River — which had multiple stops on the festival circuit, including Sundance, SXSW and Cannes, where Sheridan won the Un Certain Regard prize for directing — hits theaters on Aug 4.