Along with Samuel L. Jackson and Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany is the only actor to have starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s very first movie that’s still an active part of the franchise today, although he did play several roles, unlike his peers who’ve remained as Nick Fury and Happy Hogan since Iron Man.
Bettany’s first three appearances in the MCU had him restricted to the recording booth as Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence JARVIS, before Avengers: Age of Ultron saw him finally get physical as Vision. That eventually led to a further two outings in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, before he ended up starring in a TV show that landed him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.
As it turns out, Bettany was warned that his career was all but over shortly before being informed of his upgraded presence in Age of Ultron, as revealed in new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via ComicBook.
“I was thinking, ‘Maybe he’s right? Maybe I’m done. Maybe my career’s over’. It taught me a really nice life lesson; If you’re good to people and you slip, people will put their hand out and help you back up. If you’re an asshole to people and you slip, people just look at you floundering on the floor. So it was nice to get the affirmation that having good manners pays off. I will always be grateful.”
Even though he’s been killed off three times in 2021 already, Bettany is expected to continue his longstanding association with the MCU in the future, after WandaVision ended with the now-sentient White Vision flying off into the distance without a care in the world and a blank narrative slate.