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Interview with Romilda De Luca, Executive Producer of “Rennervations,” Co-produced by and Starring Jeremy Renner

Take a tour bus and turn it into a mobile after-school activity facility; or a delivery truck and convert it into a drinking water treatment plant; or a fire truck and transform it in a dance studio. This is Rennervations, the new Disney + traveling reality show co-produced and hosted by Jeremy Renner. The beloved American actor, on his way to a miraculous recovery after the terrible accident he suffered on January 1st in Tahoe when he was run over by his own snowplow, combines his passion for abandoned and disused vehicles with the idea of recycling them and providing help to anyone in need, especially children.

Rennervations – a pun on both Renner and renovations – debuted on Disney+ last April 12, featuring four episodes of about 50 minutes each filmed in Reno, Chicago, Mexico and India (the Indian episode will close this first series at the end of May – Renner and partners foresee a second series with more episodes).

We talked about Rennervations with the producer of the series Romilda De Luca, an Italian from Caserta, who has been a resident of Los Angeles since 2010, and is a business partner and great friend of Renner. De Luca has always juggled her career between marketing, film and television: she’s the representative of the Stellantis Group (Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Lavazza), and for years has collaborated with Renner, as well as with stars and “brands” such as Jennifer Lopez and Eminem. She’s also the producer of the latest films by Ron Howard and Russell Crowe.

De Luca says Renner is like a volcano, a force of nature, one that never stops: “He broke 40 bones three months ago, from head to toe, and yesterday he was on the red carpet to promote this series!” she says, talking to us on the telephone from her home in Pacific Palisades and referring to the premiere of Rennervations. De Luca is herself a bundle of energy, a tireless promoter, and a fast talker.

Romilda, how did the idea for Rennervations come about?

We’ve been friends with Jeremy [Renner] for about ten years, mostly because of marketing projects. Back in 2019, Jeremy was talking to me about these vehicles that he was buying and collecting in Reno. It was before the pandemic, and he was asking me, “How about the idea of giving these vehicles new uses?” Jeremy hates waste, loves recycling and loves the idea of helping children in need – and anyone in need.

And this is how the show was born?

Yes, but Jeremy saw it more as a “movement,” something that could help build up communities, a show that would go beyond the simple renewal and restructuring of vehicles. A social movement of reimagining and intervention. Not just here in the USA, but all over the world.

You filmed four episodes before Jeremy’s accident. How many did you have planned?

Jeremy would never stop. He has about 200 vehicles parked at his RennerCamp in Reno. He buys them at auctions, and his philosophy is, “the more I buy, the more I have the ability to help communities around the world.” He always thinks about targeted and fair uses within communities in need.

Then came Disney.

When we found Disney+, we hit the road. Four vehicles at first, here in America, Mexico and India. Disney, with its international platform, has encouraged us to open up to the world. And we’ve already received feedback from organizations around the world. The “movement” that Jeremy envisioned has really kicked off.

How did you choose those first vehicles?

We started out in Reno, where Jeremy is an honorary citizen, and where he had already started transforming fire trucks into “party trucks” for sick children in hospitals. Jeremy has been involved with the Big Brother Big Sister program, which works with providing mentorship for at-risk children, since 2019. During the pandemic, the idea was to create a mobile entertainment center, but I discovered an organization dealing with a need that was bigger than I had thought. In Nevada, the problem of children with difficult family situations is enormous. Big Brother Big Sister is a beautiful project.


Then you went to Chicago. What happened there?

We got to Chicago through a friend of Jeremy’s, a musician, who introduced us to BASE Chicago, an organization that tries to get children out of the ghetto and prevent them ending up in gangs. Jeremy was born a musician, for him music is also a statement of freedom. So, we turned a bus into a music studio.


And then came Mexico.

Mexico was introduced to us by friends of friends. Mexican children are fantastic, they play football, make music, cook. The idea was “sport, dancing, chefs.” We had thought about refurbishing a truck into a food prep truck. But during the pandemic, we started to be aware of issues of hygiene, making it impossible to touch food and such, so our goal was transformed for the community in need, and our primary focus was on providing a space for music and dance. It’s a beautiful episode. It was a thrill to see the Mexican children finally being able to leave the house and dance. Similarly, the Indian episode was strong and intense. Jeremy and his crew converted a truck to a clean water treatment facility out of schools. In India and Africa, children have neither food nor clean drinking water. Jeremy’s idea provides for a brilliant solution.


Have you made major trips for the series?

Of course, Jeremy has been everywhere, he and the crew were on all the locations twice: the first time to meet with organizations and communities to understand what they needed, the second time to deliver the vehicles transformed for those needs. Each delivery is presented by a celebrity, such as Anthony Mackie, Vanessa Hudgens, Sebastian Yatra and Anil Kapoor.

Are there any more episodes ready?

Not yet, but Jeremy intends to do one after another if Disney+ agrees. It all depends on the ratings and feedback, which for now are great. Jeremy also draws inspiration from his 10-year-old daughter, who’s gifted with great imagination. Let me remind you that Jeremy has over 200 disused buses on his RennerCamp in Reno. He is a volcano in constant eruption, one that never stops. Before making it big as an actor, Jeremy worked remodeling houses with his half-brother, and then moved into working on vehicles. We hope to start Rennervations 2 as soon as possible.

Where were you when Jeremy had the accident?

I was here in Los Angeles. On January 1, the mayor of Reno called me – he wants to wish me Happy New Year, I thought. It was nothing like that. I was supposed to fly to Miami that day, for a few days of vacation, but instead I immediately flew to Reno, where Jeremy was hospitalized, and I stayed there all week in the hospital with the family. The last two years I had lived with him in symbiosis, and it was the right thing to do. Jeremy is not only my business partner, but a close friend. He has tremendous strength. I challenge anyone to stay upright and active after all that he has been through. The first thing he said when he woke up from the induced coma, still dazed, was: “Don’t even think of postponing the series premiere!” He is a real superhero to me!