When asked who I was more excited to meet on the Captain America: Civil War press junket, admittedly, I was torn between Paul Bettany as Vision and Chris Evans as Captain America. But–I mean–every bit of every moment of this trip was incredibly exciting! To make it even better, Chris Evans crashed our Paul Bettany interview basically exploding all our wildest expectations. During this interview, we got a personal taste of why Paul Bettany is the funniest guy on set. Read it for yourself, but read his parts with a snarky, sexy British accent…
Paul Bettany as Vision
Possessing the iconic voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., Paul Bettany only had to utter a few words before the entire room of 25 female bloggers swooned and melted into a giddy, grinning audience. He came in singing casually and when we all erupted into applause and cries of joy, he spun around and left the room, only to enter again to experience the warm welcome anew.
It took all of us a moment to gather ourselves and accept the reality of the situation. Paul freaking Bettany is sitting right in front of us. During our slightly unprofessional pause, he sat and asked:
“What can I do for you all? Probably wondering why I brought you all here?”
After a few more girlish giggles, we were finally able to form our first question.
Q: We were just speaking with the directors (post on that coming soon) and they mentioned how hot it was filming the airport scene. Can you tell us about that experience?
Paul Bettany: “Uh, it was–it was HOT. You know, you all come out of your air-conditioned trailers in your costume and makeup and everybody’s looking rather like super heroes and movie stars. Then, in about naught point 5 minutes, in 105° Atlanta weather, you look a lot less like a movie star…
(NOTE: Only HE can make “naught” sound so badass. I’ve since tried and failed miserably.)
…so yeah, initially everybody looks so great. And then you see people like ‘ugh’. Both me and Chadwick [Boseman – Black Panther] have this special suit that goes on underneath which pumps ice cold water through it. If you can imagine–close your eyes and imagine being inside a gin and tonic. It feels exactly like that.”
**We then asked a question that pertains to something that happened in the movie. To avoid spoilers, I’ll save that for a later post. But it’s GOOD stuff so make sure to check back soon!**
Q: How do you personally relate to Vision?
Paul Bettany: “I have to relate to him as a human being–cuz I am. [LOL] But, it’s funny. I sort of imagine a child. Just a preternatural clever, child… who can do anything, almost… and is forced into a situation of having to grow up very quickly–hasn’t happened to me yet, personally. But, yeah, that’s how I do.”
Q: After being a director yourself, is it different being on the other end?
Paul Bettany: “Yeah, and I think more actors should do it. It really gives you a total… much more of a respect for the directors that you work with. And I really enjoyed my own period of being an actor and just enjoying my responsibility… because you’re obviously taking care of a much larger picture as the director. And your day is just filled with a thousand questions. Ninety-nine percent of which are ‘WHAT COLOR DO YOU WANT THE RED SHOES TO BE?!’ …What??? … Then, one percent of them being absolutely unanswerable questions that are gonna make you old.
…But I loved doing it. And will do it again. I’ll do a comedy next time.”
YES! Oh man, I cannot wait for him to do a funny movie. He’s already got such a great sense of humor and delivery. I can only imagine the ab workout a comedy by him will invoke!
I had raised my hand a few minutes prior to ask a question and he basically ignored me. I wasn’t hurt–just sort of disappointed. BUT, he then locked eyes with me and said, with that irresistible British flare, “And I dismissed you last time. And I feel terribly, terribly, rude.” Naturally, I immediately turned to mush, eternally convinced that we were sharing a ‘moment’. I can only hope it was as good for him as it was for me. 😉 I eventually asked my question:
Q: Do you miss being the voice in Tony Stark’s (Iron Man‘s) head?
Paul Bettany: “I definitely feel melancholic at times. <in voice you’d use to speak to a puppy or infant> Ohhh, where’s my J.A.R.V.I.S…”
Q: How do your kids feel about having a superhero in the house?
Paul Bettany: “They love it, actually… my daughter met me as the Vision for the first time and I think she was just three… and she just ran up to me and gave me a hug. She knew entirely who it was. And I was–had been–very worried about what her response would be. And then, at the end of the day when I took it all off, she had her very first ever meltdown. And she went ‘I WANT PURPLE DADDY!’… which I’m sure you can all imagine, was a little depressing. Like, what’s wrong with [just] me?”
Q: Going off that, how much of it was costume and makeup? And how much was CGI?
Paul Bettany: “It’s mostly costume and makeup… Basically makeup starts from under my eyes, and goes all the way… a bald cap… and then goes all the way under… there’s this much [shows just the portion around his eyes] of my body out to the open. And, what the CG does is continue the lines and circuitry into my eyes…”
Q: So, they weren’t contacts?
Paul Bettany: “No, there were no contacts. They stopped short of that. They think, oh, we’re punishing him enough than to put contacts on him. Poor bastard’s in spanks and a muscle suit…how about let’s give him some contact lenses? [sarcasm]” LOL
Q: How many hours did it take for full costume and makeup?
Paul Bettany: “Two and a quarter. Initially the makeup is…somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours–when everybody’s rusty and they’re starting off again. Then they quickly get it down to about an hour. Which is frankly amazing for the transformation they achieve. Then the costume is about 45 minutes… so you really have to plan how you’re hydrating yourself because that’s a 45 minute reset when you… need to spend a penny.”
Q: What was it like being just a voice for all those movies and then becoming a character?
Paul Bettany: “Well, I just love it. I mean, it’s a double-edged sword of course, because, you know, I used to show up for 45 minutes, talk a bit, and they’d hand me a big bag of cash. Now I gotta go to Atlanta and wear spanks… but no… it’s been so much fun. I loved doing it and I look forward to it when the date is set for the next one. It’s lovely… you meet a bunch of people that you know, and it’s like coming back to a family. It’s lovely.”
Just when we asked about how many people have requested that he record their outgoing messages–because c’mon, how cool would it be to have the real J.A.R.V.I.S. be on your voicemail?!–Chris Evans crashed our interview. It was completely spectacular.
This interview was beyond unforgettable and I cannot thank Paul enough for being uncannily REAL. He set the stage for an amazing interview with Chris Evans as well. It’s easy to see why he’s considered the funniest guy on set. Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner also commented about on the hilarity he brings to set.
Follow Paul on Twitter to keep up with his great work.
Captain America: Civil War – in theaters everywhere May 6th!!!
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best) how much do you love Paul Bettany as Vision? I say 100000000000000!