Paul Bettany has been in show business for over a quarter-century, but his most significant work yet might still be coming up. One of the most prominent actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bettany has been there since the first movie.
However, both as JARVIS and as Vision, Bettany has mostly been pushed aside as a character in the films. In the upcoming WandaVision, however, he might get his most prominent role to date. Don’t expect him to express his joy the way so many others do, however.
Paul Bettany before the MCU
Bettany began his career in show business in 1994 as Ian Greaves in the television series Wycliffe. He became a staple on British television shows and miniseries for several years— typically in smaller roles. However, Bettany began to get more high-profile work in big-budget movies thanks to his work in A Knight’s Tale and A Beautiful Mind.
No longer pushed off to the side, Bettany starred alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names on-and-off camera, securing work in films such as Master and Commander and The Da Vinci Code. Still, his voice role in 2008’s Iron Man might have changed his career forever.
Paul Bettany hits the MCU
Bettany was never a star in the MCU. His first few appearances were little more than voice-work. As the actor behind Tony Stark’s virtual assistance, JARVIS, Bettany became a staple whether people knew it was him or not. JARVIS became a significant part of every film that Iron Man appeared in until 2015’s Age of Ultron allowed Bettany the opportunity to step in front of the MCU camera.
When JARVIS became Vision, he went from an unknown voice to one of the world’s most powerful beings. However, with every passing movie, Vision struggled more and more with becoming human as an android in an unforgiving world.
His relationship with Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, helped give this arc a little heart.
Vision and Wanda became the MCU’s power couple, but when Thanos killed Vision in 2018’s Infinity War, the relationship came to a horrifying halt. Although Endgame made it appear as though Vision was still dead, the upcoming series WandaVision shows that he is very much alive, at least in Wanda’s mind.
Aside from the MCU, Bettany remains one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood in roles both smart and big. However, while he is part of one of the biggest cultural phenomenons around, it doesn’t mean that he participates in other touchstones of the modern age.
He spoke about his hatred for emojis in a recent interview.
Paul Bettany takes a stand
Aside from his talent as an actor, Bettany is also known for his vibrant personality off-script. Fans who have followed the MCU staple may have noticed his anti-emoji crusade for several years. When someone asked him about emojis in a since-deleted tweet, Bettany replied on Twitter with, “emojis are for the vocabularily challenged, of whose number I am not one.”
During press for Endgame, he took a light step back and claimed that he couldn’t figure out emojis in a sarcastic reply to co-star Mark Ruffalo. According to Bettany, his loathing for emojis has to do because it covers up emotions when words would do much better. He spoke about this with Inquirer.
“I think they’re a sign of weakness,” he said. “I would never use an emoji, and when my friends send texts with emoji, I dress them down for such nonsense. An exclamation point… means you were worried your sentence wasn’t clear enough that you were trying to be funny. So make your sentence funny, don’t add a smiley face. Just stop it, stop it, stop it.”
Bettany will grace our screens again in WandaVision. However, if the show is as much of a success as it is believed to be, don’t expect him to express that joy with emojis, exclamation points, or any other signs of inherent weakness.
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