Paul Bettany Thought His Career Was Over When He Got The Call For Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Many of the cast members of the MCU have had a crazy time of it over the past decade, but Paul Bettany’s career has taken more unexpected turns than most. He was initially part of the franchise in a mere voiceover role, portraying Tony Stark’s trusty A.I. JARVIS from 2008’s Iron Man until 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Beginning with that movie, though, Bettany got to stand side by side with the rest of the heroes as the android hero Vision.
But the story of how the actor ended up graduating to the role is not one that many know and is actually pretty amazing. It turns out that Bettany was at a low point in his career at the time, having had a potentially damaging falling out with an unknown big-name movie producer, when director Joss Whedon came to the rescue by offering him a major role in Age of Ultron.
Speaking to the crowd at ACE Comic-Con last weekend, the fan favorite recalled the moment that his life changed, saying the following:
I had just got done with a meeting with a producer who told me my career was over. That it was done, and that I should pack my bags and go home. And I kind-of stood up to him and I said, ‘Listen, you know, in this town actors have second and third acts, and you should mind your fucking manners.’ And I walk out and then my legs give way, because I think maybe my career’s over.
Then I sit down on the sidewalk on Sunset and I went, ‘Wow, maybe my career’s over.’ My phone rang; I answered it, and it was a number I didn’t recognize. I went ‘hello.’ [He said] ‘It’s Joss Whedon.’ I went,’ Oh hi Joss.’ He says, ‘You want to play the Vision in The Avengers?’ I went, ‘Yes I do, thank you very much.’
And the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Bettany’s gone on to not only reprise the role of Vision several times – most recently in Avengers: Infinity War – but he’s also become one of Hollywood’s hottest talents, finding himself in everything from Solo: A Star Wars Story to last year’s excellent miniseries Manhunt: Unabomber.
Circling back to Vision though, and while it remains to be seen if he’ll be returning for Avengers 4, Bettany’s strongly hinted that we haven’t seen the last of him in the MCU. Which means we’ll get at least one more chance to witness the actor in the role that forever changed his life.