Paul Bettany (born 27 May 1971 in Harlesden, London) is an English-American actor.
He had his breakout role as a naked Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight's Tale, which is probably saying something, and has since starred in a wide variety of movies where he usually steals all the scenes he's in.
Some of his roles include:
- Sharpe (1997) as the Prince of Orange
- Gangster No. 1 (2000) as the Gangster
- A Knight's Tale (2001) as Geoffrey Chaucer
- A Beautiful Mind (2001) as Charles Herman, alongside Russell Crowe
- Master and Commander (2003) as Dr. Stephen Maturin, also alongside Russell Crowe
- Wimbledon (2004) as Peter Colt
- The Da Vinci Code (2006) as Silas
- Firewall (2006) as Bill Cox
- Inkheart (2008) as Dustfinger
- Marvel Cinematic Universe in dual roles as:
- The voice of J.A.R.V.I.S.:
- The Vision:
- Creation (2009) as Charles Darwin
- The Young Victoria (2009) as Viscount Melbourne
- Legion (2010) as Archangel Michael
- The Tourist (2010) as Inspector John Acheson
- Margin Call (2011) as Will Emerson
- Priest (2011) as Priest
- Manhunt: Unabomber (2017) as Ted Kaczynski
- Star Wars: Solo (2018) as Dryden Vos
- Uncle Frank (2020) as the titular Frank
Examples concerning this actor:
- Awesome, Dear Boy:
- Bettany states he does all his action films like Legion and Priest because he enjoys them just as much as the dramatic, artsy films.
- He started seeing his role in the MCU as this after he transitioned from voicing J.A.R.V.I.S. in a recording studio to playing his successor Vision on set with all the other actors in the franchise.
- Dyeing for Your Art:
- Went to the gym for six months while filming Legion. He hated it.
- He spent several months learning how to play tennis for Wimbledon and notes on the DVD Commentary how painful it was.
- His hair was dyed brunette for Master and Commander.
- Vision forces him to go through hours of make-up, not to mention a padded and hot costume.
- Creator Backlash: Actively discourages anybody from trying to watch Dead Babies.
- Money, Dear Boy: He admits that his performances as J.A.R.V.I.S. are mainly for this, and he doesn't even watch the movies. Playing the Vision, however, got him more excited, as it was a more complex challenge than voice acting."I used to be in a studio for 45 minutes and do J.A.R.V.I.S. and get a huge bag of cash and go my way like a burglar, and now they want me to work for my money. Which is great and sweaty and hot, which you’ll realize once they unveil everything. It’s really f***ing cool. It’s great to join this train which is on really clear tracks."
- Mr. Fanservice: His directors seem well aware of his appeal.
- Promoted Fanboy: And how! When Ron Howard took over Solo, Bettany sent him an offhand text, saying "Hey, Ron, have you ever spent long winter evenings like I have wondering why you're not in the Star Wars franchise?" Two weeks later, he was cast as Dryden Vos.note
- Romance on the Set: He met Jennifer Connelly while filming A Beautiful Mind. They later acted together as husband and wife in Creation, and Connelly had a short cameo as Dustfinger's girlfriend/soon-to-be-wife in Inkheart.
- Those Two Actors:
- What Could Have Been: He was Christopher Nolan's second choice for the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight before the casting of Heath Ledger.