Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.
It's no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an absolutely behemoth force in the film world. Marvel Studios and Disney have crafted an expansive shared universe that tons of A-list actors are eager to join. But it all started with 2008's Iron Man, the very first film in the MCU. No one could have known just how big the franchise would get, including its starring cast. While Paul Bettany is better known for playing superhero Vision, he made his debut as the voice of Tony Stark's operating system J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man. The acclaimed actor recently revealed how he was approached by director/actor Jon Favreau, saying:
I got a phone call from Jon Favreau saying, 'I need the voice of a personality-less robot and I thought of you immediately.' I thought that was the funniest thing I ever heard, so I said 'Yes.'
Talk about a back handed compliment. Because while Jon Fravreau was offering Paul Bettany an awesome new acting job, it was apparently due to his lack of a personality. This is a note that Bettany seems to have rolled with, eventually developing Vision into a full formed and emotional character.
Paul Bettany's comments to GQ show how much timing and happenstance factor into movie making. While the world of Hollywood may seem distant for us moviegoers, it's actually a smaller world than one might think. Friends give each other jobs, and one hilarious choice of phrase could help change your career trajectory. J.A.R.V.I.S. eventually transformed into Vision in Age of Ultron, and that high profile gig likely helped him book roles like the one in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Because of his role in Iron Man, Paul Bettany has remained one of the most constant forces within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He ultimately voiced the AI system for all three Iron Man movies and The Avengers, before Joss Whedon eventually turned him into Vision. He's one of the actors with the most MCU credits under his belt, and it all paid off in a major way in Infinity War.
Vision's biggest plot point comes from his relationship with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. The conflict of Captain America: Civil War temporarily pushed them apart, but Infinity War revealed the two heroes have spent years in hiding together. And when Thanos came for the Infinity Stones (including the one in Vision's head), they both had to make the ultimately sacrifice in order to save the galaxy. And they did... until the villain used the Time Stone.