Paul Bettany
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Paul Bettany (born 27 May 1971) is an English actor. He is mostly known for his roles as
J.A.R.V.I.S. J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) is a fictional character voiced by Paul Bettany in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics characters Edwin Jarvis and H.O.M.E.R., respectively the house ...
and Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently starring in the Disney+ miniseries '' WandaVision'' (2021), for which he was nominated for a
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie is an award presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding pe ...
. Bettany first came to the attention of mainstream audiences when he starred in the films '' Gangster No. 1'' (2000), '' A Knight's Tale'' (2001) and '' A Beautiful Mind'' (2001). He was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for playing Stephen Maturin in the film '' Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'' (2003). Bettany's other films include '' Dogville'' (2003), '' Wimbledon'' (2004), '' The Da Vinci Code'' (2006), '' The Tourist'' (2010), '' Margin Call'' (2011), '' Legend'' (2015) and '' Solo: A Star Wars Story'' (2018). He made his directorial debut with the film '' Shelter'' (2014), which he also wrote and co-produced. In television and theatre, Bettany has portrayed
Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th and 4th Duke of Argyll (18 June 1903 – 7 April 1973), was a Scottish peer and the Chief of Clan Campbell ( gd, MacCailein Mòr). He is chiefly remembered for his unhappy marriage to, and scandalous 1963 divorce from ...
in the series ''
A Very British Scandal ''A Very British Scandal'' is a 2021 historical drama television miniseries, starring Claire Foy as Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll and Paul Bettany as Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll. Its production company, Blueprint Pictures, previo ...
'' and played Andy Warhol in the play '' The Collaboration'' in the West End, which is set to transfer to Broadway.


Early life

Bettany was born on 27 May 1971 in London, to Anne (), a stage singer, theatre teacher, and stage manager, and
Thane Bettany Thane William Howard Hardcastle Christopher Bettany (28 May 1929 – 7 November 2015) was an English actor and dancer. He was the father of film and theatre actor Paul Bettany. Early years Thane Bettany was born in Sarawak, an independent stat ...
, a dancer, actor, drama teacher and godfather to Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Bettany was raised Roman Catholic, although his church attendance drifted after his confirmation. Bettany then experimented with other Christian denominations among which were Methodist and Church of England congregations with his father. Bettany is now an atheist. While his father taught at the all-girls boarding school Queenswood School, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire, the family lived on the school grounds. When Bettany was 16, his brother Matthew died at age 8 after falling onto concrete from a tennis pavilion roof at Queenswood. Soon after, Bettany dropped out of school, left home, and became a street performer in London. He lived in a small flat and earned money by playing his guitar in the streets as a busker. His parents later divorced. After two years, he found a new job in a home for the elderly. After working there for a year, Bettany enrolled at the Drama Centre in London. He had dyslexia prior to it being recognised as a
learning difficulty Learning disability, learning disorder, or learning difficulty (British English) is a condition in the brain that causes difficulties comprehending or processing information and can be caused by several different factors. Given the "difficult ...
.


Career

In 1990, at the age of 19, Bettany began a three-year course at the
Drama Centre London Drama Centre London (often abbreviated as Drama Centre) was a British drama school in King's Cross, London, where it moved in 2011 after a major reshaping of the University of the Arts London. It was part of Central Saint Martins, a constitue ...
in
Chalk Farm Chalk Farm is a small urban district of north London, lying immediately north of Camden Town, in the London Borough of Camden. History Manor of Rugmere Chalk Farm was originally known as the Manor of Rugmere, an estate that was mentioned ...
. He made his stage debut in Stephen Daldry's acclaimed West End revival of '' An Inspector Calls'' at the Aldwych Theatre, playing the part of Eric Birling. He also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of '' Richard III'', '' Romeo and Juliet'', and '' Julius Caesar'' (for which he received a Charleson Award nomination). When Bettany was 21, he appeared in a BBC production of '' Oliver Twist'', playing Bill Sikes. After appearing in the finale of Sean Bean's series '' Sharpe'' as William II of the Netherlands at the Battle of Waterloo, he made his film debut with a small part in '' Bent'', a Holocaust drama which also featured Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Ian McKellen. He continued doing work in stage and television: these included
Joe Penhall Joe Scott Penhall (born 1967) is an English-Australian playwright and screenwriter, best known for his award-winning stage play '' Blue/Orange'', the award-winning West End musical ''Sunny Afternoon'' and creating the Netflix original series ' ...
's ''Love and Understanding'', which played at London's Bush Theatre and then ran in Connecticut. He had roles in the television productions '' Killer Net'' and '' Coming Home'', during which he met and dated Emily Mortimer. His last stage work was in ''One More Wasted Year'' and ''Stranger's House'' at the Royal Court Theatre. He filmed several more movies, including his first leading role in '' Gangster No. 1''. The British Independent Film Awards nominated him for Best Actor, and the London Film Critics' Circle nominated him for British Newcomer of the Year. Back in Hollywood, writer/director Brian Helgeland (''
L.A. Confidential ''L.A. Confidential'' (1990) is a neo-noir novel by James Ellroy and the third of his L.A. Quartet series. It is dedicated to Mary Doherty Ellroy. The epigraph is "A glory that costs everything and means nothing"—Steve Erickson. Plot The s ...
'') was planning a new film called ''The Sin Eater'' (also known as '' The Order''). He was impressed by Bettany's audition tape, though Helgeland eventually decided to film '' A Knight's Tale'' instead. The studio executives were not impressed, but Helgeland was determined to cast him, even writing the part of Chaucer for him. '' A Knight's Tale'' would be Bettany's first big Hollywood production. He received critical acclaim for ''A Knight's Tale'', including winning the London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Supporting Actor. After the movie wrapped, Helgeland, determined that Hollywood should recognize Bettany's talent, showed the audition tape to many of his peers, including Ron Howard, who promptly cast Bettany in '' A Beautiful Mind'' alongside Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. After ''A Beautiful Mind'', Bettany was offered the role of serial killer Francis Dolarhyde in '' Red Dragon'', opposite Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins. He turned down the role due to his commitment to a role in Lars von Trier's '' Dogville''. Bettany's next major project saw him starring again alongside '' A Beautiful Mind'' costar Russell Crowe in Peter Weir's '' Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World''. His portrayal of surgeon and naturalist Stephen Maturin brought him a BAFTA nomination, and he was named British Actor of the Year ( London Film Critics' Circle), and Best Actor ('' Evening Standard''). On 28 June 2004, Bettany and 13 other actors were included in the 2004 invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. '' Dogville'' and '' The Reckoning'' were released in limited cinemas in 2004. In September of that year, Bettany made his leading-man debut in '' Wimbledon'', a romantic comedy with Kirsten Dunst. The film's cast would also introduce him to Jon Favreau, playing his manager, a relationship that would return when Favreau cast him as the voice of
J.A.R.V.I.S. J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) is a fictional character voiced by Paul Bettany in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics characters Edwin Jarvis and H.O.M.E.R., respectively the house ...
in '' Iron Man''. In mid-2005, Bettany filmed ''
Firewall Firewall may refer to: * Firewall (computing), a technological barrier designed to prevent unauthorized or unwanted communications between computer networks or hosts * Firewall (construction), a barrier inside a building, designed to limit the spre ...
'' in Vancouver, Canada, a thriller also starring Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen, which reunited him with ''Wimbledon'' director Richard Loncraine. He spent the autumn of 2005 filming '' The Da Vinci Code'', based on Dan Brown's best-selling novel and starring Tom Hanks,
Audrey Tautou Audrey Justine Tautou (; born 9 August 1976) is a French actress. She made her acting debut at the age of 18 on television and her feature film debut in '' Venus Beauty Institute'' (1999), for which she received critical acclaim and won the Cés ...
and Ian McKellen. In the film, he played an Opus Dei monk named Silas. In 2007, Bettany went to London to star in ''There For Me'', written by his friends Dan Fredenburgh and Doraly Rosen. In 2008, he appeared in the New Line Cinema family fantasy '' Inkheart'', playing the part of a fire-eater named
Dustfinger The ''Inkheart'' series is a succession of four fantasy novels written by German author Cornelia Funke, comprising ''Inkheart'' (2003), ''Inkspell'' (2005), ''Inkdeath'' (2007), and ''The Colour of Revenge'' (2023). The books chronicle the adven ...
. In 2009, he appeared as Charles Darwin in '' ''Creation'''', starring opposite his own wife Jennifer Connelly. In 2010, Bettany appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in '' The Tourist'' and portrayed the archangel Michael in '' Legion'', a film depicting divine vengeance upon humanity. He starred in the films '' Priest and Margin Call'', both released in 2011. Bettany reprised his voice role as J.A.R.V.I.S. in 2010's '' Iron Man 2'', 2012's ''The Avengers'', 2013's '' Iron Man 3'', and Disneyland's Innoventions attraction. In 2014, Bettany starred alongside Johnny Depp and fellow British actor Rebecca Hall in the feature film ''
Transcendence Transcendence, transcendent, or transcendental may refer to: Mathematics * Transcendental number, a number that is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients * Algebraic element or transcendental element, an element of a field exten ...
''. He was once again paired with Depp in ''
Mortdecai ''Mortdecai'' is a series of comic thriller novels written by English author Kyril Bonfiglioli. The book series deals with the picaresque adventures of a dissolute aristocratic art dealer named Charlie Mortdecai, accompanied on his adventures by ...
'', a 2015 motion picture also starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. After voicing J.A.R.V.I.S. for five years, Bettany made his first onscreen appearance in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film in the 2015 film '' Avengers: Age of Ultron'', playing Vision. He reprised the role in the sequels '' Captain America: Civil War'' (2016) and '' Avengers: Infinity War'' (2018). Bettany portrayed Ted Kaczynski in the Discovery Channel television show, '' Manhunt: Unabomber''. Bettany replaced Michael K. Williams in '' Solo: A Star Wars Story'', after Williams was removed from the final film, as he was unable to return to set during the film's reshoots. Bettany was cast in his place, with the character being reworked from a motion-capture alien to a human. On 20 January 2018, it was reported that Bettany was nearing a deal to play Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on the Netflix series '' The Crown'', succeeding Matt Smith. Days later, on 25 January, it was reported by TVLine that Bettany was ultimately unable to sign on due to scheduling conflicts. Bettany starred alongside Elizabeth Olsen in the Marvel television miniseries '' WandaVision'', portraying a new version of his Marvel Cinematic Universe character, Vision, with Olsen portraying the titular Wanda. It premiered on Disney+ in January 2021, garnering praise from critics. Reviewing the series, Matt Purslow of '' IGN'' wrote Bettany "effortlessly takes to the comedic skits" and that he and Olsen "provide a fantastic amount of life, wit, and emotion". For his performance, Bettany received nominations for the
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie is an award presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding pe ...
and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film. Bettany starred in the 2021 miniseries ''
A Very British Scandal ''A Very British Scandal'' is a 2021 historical drama television miniseries, starring Claire Foy as Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll and Paul Bettany as Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll. Its production company, Blueprint Pictures, previo ...
''. He played artist Andy Warhol in a production of the play ''The Collaboration'' by Anthony McCarten at the Young Vic in London from February to April 2022. He is slated to reprise the role in a film adaptation of the play. Bettany is attached to portray businessman Alexander Nix in a film about the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal as well as co-write and star in the dramedy film ''Harvest Moon''. Bettany will reprise his role as Vision in the television series '' Vision Quest''.


Personal life

On 1 January 2003, Bettany married American actress Jennifer Connelly in Scotland; they met when they starred together in the 2001 film '' A Beautiful Mind''. They did not become a couple until some time after filming, as both were in other relationships at the time. As a teenager, he had developed a crush on her after seeing her in the 1986 film '' Labyrinth''. The September 11 attacks motivated him to act on his feelings for her, and after two days of attempting to contact her, he proposed, despite the fact that they were not in a relationship. Soon after their marriage, they moved to Brooklyn Heights after having lived together in Tribeca.David, Amrk
"Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly On the Move Again"
, '' Variety (magazine)'', 14 January 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2019. "It was only about 3.5 years ago that English-born movie actor Paul Bettany (''A Beautiful Mind'', ''The Da Vinci Code'', ''A Knight's Tale'') and Brooklyn-bred Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem For A Dream, Blood Diamond) paid $6,920,000 for a full floor loft-type penthouse apartment on the edge of New York City's star-stocked TriBeCa neighborhood."
The couple has two children together, a son, born 2003, and a daughter, born 2011. Bettany is the stepfather to Connelly's son from a previous relationship. Bettany is close friends with actor Johnny Depp. Text messages between Bettany and Depp from 2013 were used as evidence in 2020 during Depp's defamation trial against ''The Sun'' and in 2022 as part of Depp's defamation trial against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.


Filmography


Film


Television


Theatre


Awards and nominations


Notes


References


External links

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Bettany, Paul 1971 births 20th-century British male actors 21st-century British male actors Alumni of the Drama Centre London Audiobook narrators British buskers British expatriate male actors in the United States English atheists English expatriates in the United States English male film actors English male stage actors English male television actors English male video game actors English male voice actors Former Roman Catholics Independent Spirit Award winners Living people Male actors from London People from Harlesden People from Shepherd's Bush People from Tribeca Royal Shakespeare Company members