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Paul Bettany has been in four Marvel Studios films at this point, but he has had what can probably be distinguished the easiest acting gig in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Voicing Tony Stark’s digital butler JARVIS, he hasn’t had to wear heavy Iron Man suits, do fight training or put on a performance-capture leotard. Instead his job has required going into a recording booth to read stats and exposition. One could understand his Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars being a little jealous of this, so it should be little surprise that they had a bit of fun at his expense while Bettany was suiting up as Vision in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
While Bettany’s look as Vision has remained a closely guarded secret (he was the key piece missing from last week’s trailer), I got to learn a bit more about the character and Bettany’s rough behind-the-scenes experience bringing him to life this past summer while visiting the set of Avengers 2 along with a small group of other film journalists. The subject first came up while talking to Robert Downey Jr., who highly praised the work that Bettany was doing in the movie. More than just enjoying his performance, however, the Iron Man star has also had a good bit of fun watching his co-star go through a rather torturous make-up process. Said the actor, laughing,
"There is no one I would rather have the delight of seeing in extreme discomfort than Paul Bettany."
Downey Jr. smiled widely as he recounted watching Bettany morph into character performing on set – really getting into "his Hamlet moment" – only to be interrupted by crew members who would need to touch up the makeup on his neck and face. Rather than getting angry about this, Bettany was instead just very polite – taking what his co-star described as "the Brit approach to being boiled alive."
But Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t the only one having a bit of a chuckle at Paul Bettany’s expense. For example, Mark Ruffalo realized that his motion-capture pajamas seemed like a pretty sweet deal when he discovered exactly how long Bettany was spending in the makeup chair becoming Vision. Said the actor,
" All I know is that I’m happy that I walk in and I leave the trailer, and I can go back an hour later and Paul Bettany’s still in make-up. I’m 46 years old. That makes me feel good. Sorry, Paul."
All kidding aside, though, Ruffalo can also be counted as another star thoroughly impressed with the work that Bettany put in on The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Or as he put it:
"You should see him. He’s like a specimen when he walks onto that thing. And he’s like the perfect man. He’s the Vision."
Stay tuned for more of our exciting coverage from the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be in theaters on May 1, 2015.