I was invited by Disney to attend this event. All of my expenses were paid, but I promise all opinions are my own.
Paul Bettany was such a fun interview at the Captain America Event! We learned about his costume as Vision and some about his beautiful family. It was heartwarming to listen to his answers to the questions and his accent was pretty awesome too! Check out some pictures and details about our awesome interview below.
When Paul first walked in, he was singing and having fun! It was adorable as someone said “you don’t have to stop singing.” He said “I thank you, how are we all doing.” He said he was doing “excellent, marvelous.” Then asked what he could do for all of us and said that maybe we were wondering why he brought us all there! Hilarious!
How hot was it filming the airport scene? Can you tell us about the makeup process and the struggles with that?
It was hot! You know, you all come out of air-conditioned trailers in your costumes and makeup and everyone’s looking rather like super heroes and movie stars. Then in about naught point 5 minutes later in 105 degree Atlanta weather, you look a lot less like a movie star. So, initially you’re like everyone looks great. Then, you see people like UGH! Under my suit (Chadwick has this too) a special suit that pumps ice cold water through it. So, you close your eyes and imagine inside being gin and tonic, it feels exactly like that.
Can you talk a little about you and Wanda?
You find vision in this movie on sort of a personal quest. In the previous movie, you see him born which I don’t ever expect to do on camera again in my career. He is naive and yet omnipotent and is struggling with learning about the world. In this movie, you find him trying to be more human. We found ways to realize that visually with him wearing this suit and then human clothes in this movie. Albeit from the 1950’s but human clothes. The reason I think he is doing that is he’s kind of interested in working out how loyalty works. I think loyalty probably works through love. Logic doesn’t really afford for loyalty because if new information comes to light, he might flip and be on Captain America’s side, right? Love is the water that make soil hold roots, right? So, I think in order to protect humanity he needs to understand what love is. He and Wanda both have certain similarities. Which is that they don’t know the extent of their powers and that’s terrifying. You’re all Moms right? You know when children grow to understand where the walls are and they need boundaries and its frightening. You see it in every playground that you’re in with your own kids where a parent hasn’t given their child boundaries. I think that Vision and Wanda are both struggling with that and it’s terrifying. Vision is working out what love is and it’s going to be very important moving forward in terms of humanity.
How do you personally relate to Vision?
I have to relate to him as a human being because I am. I’ve never met a synthetic person…. although in Los Angeles — I question whether I have or not. I think very much in the way I was just describing him, like imagining a child who can do almost anything. Vision is forced into a situation of having to grow up very quickly.
Now you’re a director yourself. How different is it being on the other end? Is it quite hard?
I think more actors should do it. It really gives you much more respect for the directors that you work with. 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. Your day is just filled with a thousand questions – 99% of which are what color do you want the red shoes to be? Then 1% of them being absolutely one of the triple questions that are going to make you old. It’s been amazing and I will do it again. I’ll do a comedy next time!
Being the voice of Jarvis and now Tony Stark has a new voice in his head. Do you feel betrayed that it’s a woman?
That’s a loaded question! I don’t feel betrayed that its a woman at all. I feel melancholic at times. I don’t go, where’s my Jarvis?
I read that you hadn’t watched the Iron Man movies in the beginning. Have you watched them now?
Oh yes! That was you know when you enter an interview with a journalist where they ask if you had seen the movies. You say no I haven’t seen the movies and then you go on to say that you don’t really see 80% of the movies that I am in but they don’t use that bit because a more eye catching headline is “Bettany doesn’t watch the Iron Man movies.” I did my homework and watched all of them and I really loved then. I think that the stories are becoming more and more rich and complex and I think you see that in this movie. Both in terms of the interpersonal relationships between all of the super heroes and also the broader parts. Often these sorts of moves are just plain escapism. Actually, this movie talks about some of the things that we sometimes want to escape from. Like unilateral intervention from a super power is really on one level then this film shows a need for a strong regulatory body. That is pretty topical stuff. Which is amazing for a movie that’s this broad and this much of a popcorn movie and much of a popular franchise. To touch on these subjects is kind of great.
How do your kids feel about having a superhero in the house now?
They love it actually. You know, my daughter met me as Vision for the first time and I think she was just three or maybe just about to turn three. She just ran up to me and gave me a hug, she knew entirely who it was. I had been worried about what her response would be and then at the end of the day when I took it all off, she had her first meltdown. She said, ‘I want purple daddy.’ Which, as I am sure you all can imagine, a little depressing.
How much of it was like costume and makeup and how much was CGI?
It’s mostly costume and makeup. Then there’s some sort of circuitry, I don’t know how to describe it. They’re lines and basically the makeup starts from under my eyes and goes all the way down and a bald cap that glues here. What the CG does is continue the lines and circuitry into my eyes.
So, they weren’t contacts? Or were they?
No, there were no contacts. They just stopped short of that, they think we’re punishing him enough than to put contacts on him. Poor guy is in spanks and a muscle suit.
What was it like being his voice for all of these movies and then finally becoming a character?
Well, I just love it. It’s a double-edged sword of course because I used to show up for 45 minutes, talk a bit and then they’d give me a big bag of cash. Now I gotta go to Atlanta and wear spanks! No, it’s been so much fun and I loved doing it. I look forward to it when the date is set for the next one. You meet a bunch of people that you know and it’s like coming back to a family. It’s lovely.
You were talking about your costume and getting ready. How many hours did it take for you to get in full costume and makeup?
Two and a quarter hours. Initially the makeup’s about an hour and a half to 2 hours when everyone is rusty and starting off again. Then they get it down to about an hour which is frankly amazing for the transformation that they achieve. Then the costume is about 45 minutes. You really have to plan how you’re hydrating yourself because that’s a 45 minute reset when you think you need to potty.
In being the iconic voice of Jarvis, have you ever had anyone ask you to like record their outgoing voicemail because it’s Jarvis?
Is this a request?!
What a fun way to end our time with Paul Bettany! Before the interview with Paul was over, Chris Evans popped in and surprised us all. Usually these interviews are one right after another, like with a 10 minute break in between. I’ve never experience that and really enjoyed seeing Paul and Chris joke around and chat while we finished our interview with Paul Bettany. You can see more of our interview with Chris Evans here!
Be sure you take your family and go see Captain America: Civil War on May 6th! It is a fantastic movie for the entire family. I’ve shared the movie trailer below and I have posted a few other interviews already: Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner + Elizabeth Olsen. Stay tuned for a few more and a review of the movie (no spoilers).