Bettany at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International
27 May 1971 |
Shepherd's Bush, London, England
Paul Bettany (born 27 May 1971) is an English actor. He first came to the attention of mainstream audiences when he appeared in the British film Gangster No. 1 (2000), and director Brian Helgeland's film A Knight's Tale (2001). He has gone on to appear in a wide variety of films, including A Beautiful Mind (2001), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Dogville (2003), and the adaptation of the novel The Da Vinci Code (2006). He is also known for his voice role as JARVIS in Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), and Iron Man 3 (2013).
He has been nominated for various awards, including BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Bettany is married to American actress Jennifer Connelly, with whom he has three children.
Early life 
Bettany was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, the son of Anne (née Kettle), a stage singer, theatre teacher, and stage manager, and Thane Bettany, a dancer, actor, and drama teacher. Initially, Bettany was raised Roman Catholic, but later attended Methodist and Church of England congregations with his father as his father experimented with different Christian branches. Bettany later became an atheist. While his father taught at the all-girls boarding school Queenswood School in Hertfordshire, the family lived on the campus. When Bettany was 16, his brother Matthew died at age 8 after falling onto concrete from a tennis pavilion roof at Queenswood. Soon after, Bettany dropped out of school, left home, and went to live on his own as a street performer in London. There, he lived in a small flat and earned money by playing his guitar in the streets as a busker. His parents later divorced. After two years, he found a new job in a home for the elderly. After working there for a year, Bettany enrolled at the Drama Centre in London.
In 1990 at the age of 19, Bettany began a three-year course at the Drama Centre London in Chalk Farm. He made his stage debut in Stephen Daldry's acclaimed West End revival of An Inspector Calls at the Aldwych Theatre, playing the part of Eric Birling. He also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar (for which he received a Charleson Award nomination). When Bettany was 21 he appeared in a BBC production of Oliver Twist, as Bill Sikes.
After appearing in the finale of Sean Bean's series Sharpe as HRH The Prince of Orange at the Battle of Waterloo, he made his film debut with a small part in Bent, a Holocaust drama which also featured Clive Owen, Jude Law, and Ian McKellen. He continued doing work in stage and television, these included Joe Penhall's Love and Understanding, which played at London's Bush Theatre and then ran in Connecticut. He had roles in the television productions Killer Net and Coming Home, during which he met and dated Emily Mortimer. He did his last theatre work in One More Wasted Year and Stranger's House at the Royal Court Theatre.
He filmed several more movies, including his first leading role in Gangster No. 1. The British Independent Film Awards nominated him for Best Actor, and the London Film Critics' Circle nominated him for British Newcomer of the Year.
Back in Hollywood, writer/director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) was planning a new film called The Sin Eater (also known as The Order). He was impressed by Bettany's audition tape, though Bettany eventually decided to film A Knight's Tale instead. The studio executives were not impressed, but Helgeland was determined to cast him, even writing the part of Chaucer for him. A Knight's Tale would be Bettany's first big Hollywood production, and most American audiences would have their first look at Paul Bettany.
He received critical acclaim for A Knight's Tale, including winning the London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Supporting Actor. After the movie wrapped, Helgeland, determined that Hollywood should recognize Bettany's talent, showed the audition tape to many of his peers, including Ron Howard, who promptly cast Bettany in A Beautiful Mind.
After A Beautiful Mind, Bettany was offered the role of serial killer Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon, opposite Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins. He turned down the role in favour of accepting a part with Stellan Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman in controversial director Lars von Trier's Dogville.
Bettany's next major project saw him starring again alongside Russell Crowe in Peter Weir's Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. His portrayal of surgeon and naturalist Stephen Maturin brought more critical acclaim, including a BAFTA nomination, British Actor of the Year (London Film Critics' Circle), and Best Actor (Evening Standard).
Dogville and The Reckoning were released in limited cinemas in 2004. In September of that year, Bettany made his leading-man debut in Wimbledon, a romantic comedy with Kirsten Dunst. The film's cast would also introduce him to Jon Favreau, playing his manager, a relationship that would return when Favreau cast him as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man. In spring 2005, Bettany went to Vancouver to film Firewall, a thriller starring Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen, which reunited him with Wimbledon director Richard Loncraine. He spent the autumn of 2005 filming The Da Vinci Code, based on Dan Brown's best-selling novel and starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou. In the film, he played an Opus Dei monk named Silas.
In 2007, Bettany went to London to star in There For Me, written by his friends Dan Fredenburgh and Doraly Rosen. In 2008, he appeared in the New Line Cinema family fantasy Inkheart, playing the part of a fire-eater named Dustfinger. In 2009, he appeared as Charles Darwin in Creation, starring opposite wife Jennifer Connolly. In 2010, Bettany appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist and portrayed the archangel Michael in Legion, a movie based on God's vengeance against humanity. Bettany also starred in the 2011 films Priest and Margin Call.
Personal life 
He moved to Brooklyn, New York, with Connelly and her son Kai. The couple's son, Stellan, named after actor Stellan Skarsgård, was born in 2003. Stellan's godfather is the actor Charlie Condou. Their daughter, Agnes Lark, was born in 2011.
|Sharpe´s Waterloo||Prince William of Orange||TV series|
|1998||Coming Home||Edward Carey-Lewis||TV movie|
|Killer Net||Joe Hunter||TV mini-series|
|The Land Girls||Philip|
|1999||Every Woman Knows a Secret||Rob||TV mini-series|
|After the Rain||Steph|
|2000||Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang)||Jimmy|
|The Suicide Club (a.k.a. Game of Death)||Shaw|
|David Copperfield||James Steerforth||TV movie|
|Gangster No. 1||Young Gangster|
|2001||A Knight's Tale||Geoffrey Chaucer|
|A Beautiful Mind||Charles Herman|
|The Heart of Me||Rickie|
|2003||Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World||Dr. Stephen Maturin|
|The Da Vinci Code||Silas|
|2008||Iron Man||J.A.R.V.I.S.||Voice only|
|The Secret Life of Bees||T. Ray Owens|
|2009||The Young Victoria||Lord Melbourne|
|Iron Man 2||J.A.R.V.I.S.||Voice only|
|The Tourist||John Acheson|
|Margin Call||Will Emerson|
|2012||The Avengers||J.A.R.V.I.S.||Voice only|
|Iron Man 3||J.A.R.V.I.S.||Voice only|
Awards and nominations 
- "Five Minutes With: Paul Bettany". BBC News. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Paul Bettany biography site". Tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Barton, Laura (12 May 2006). "When albino monks attack". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 27 May 2010. "Bettany was himself raised as a Catholic,..."
- Carnevale, Rob (2006-09). "Paul Bettany The Da Vinci Code". BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2010. "I was born a Catholic and now I'm a lapsed Catholic."
- David Germain (May 15, 2006). "Pious killer: Bettany dons robes as monk assassin in 'Da Vinci'". Associated Press. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Adam Rutherford (12 February 2009). "Paul Bettany: Playing Darwin with Creation". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- Julie McCaffery (16 May 2006). "Tragedy, Drugs and a Dad Who Wanted to Have a Sex Change Op". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 14 Jan. 2008.
- Annabel Rivkin (March 24, 2006). "Paul's progress". Evening Standard. p. 29. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Mal Vincent (September 18, 2004). ""Wimbledon" serves as a change of pace". Virginia Pilot and Ledger-Star. Retrieved October 21, 2012. Unknown parameter
- Standing, Sarah (May 28, 2009). "Rise of the strays (that's formerly straight, now gay)". Evening Standard. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Jamie Portman (September 17, 2004). "Wimbledon actor glimpses fame on set: Hollywood is grooming Paul Bettany as a major international star". Vancouver Sun. p. H1.
- Academy Invites 127 to Membership[dead link]
- "Film Stars Come To Hanwell". Ealingtimes.co.uk. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Paul Bettany joins the fantasy INKHEART". Cinescape.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Goldman, Eric (12 April 2013). "Disneyland Introduces Their First Marvel Exhibit with Iron Man Tech". IGN. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
- Mark Armstrong (January 10, 2003). "Jennifer Connelly marries Paul Bettany". People.com. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Tim Adams (January 25, 2004). "'I'm just a blond actor, you know'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- "Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany Welcome Daughter Agnes Lark". People. 8 June 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Paul Bettany|
- Paul Bettany at the Internet Movie Database
- Paul Bettany biography and credits at the British Film Institute's Screenonline