{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

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{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

If you want to talk about a whirlwind interview, let’s discuss the one we experienced with Paul Bettany and James Spader. When they both entered the room, very statuesque yet approachable, we knew that we were in for a great time. Paul and James were gracious and very excited to see us. Paul, who plays The Vision and is the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., and James, who plays Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, sat down with us and shared some interesting facts about their lives as actors, how they developed their roles, and what it’s like to be part of a blockbuster film.

{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

After seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron, we were all curious as to how James filmed his scenes. We were certain that there was CGI involved, but Ultron’s mannerisms seemed very similar to how James is off-set. James shared how his scenes were filmed:

“I had multiple sessions doing additional dialog recording.  But it really was sort of new stuff to further define, clarify and so on and sort of distill the prism [LAUGHS].  But most of the dialog that you hear in the movie and most of what you’re looking at, we shot on the set just in a fairly conventional fashion. 

It didn’t feel conventional at the time, considering everything I was in, but the dialog was all from what we shot on the set doing scenes with the other actors as you would in any film or in any setting.”

James shared his time in his fractal suit, while crew members tracked his movements and mannerisms. He said within 15 minutes, they were able to have Ultron move in the same way he did, which was surreal.

“They had me go through a range of motions, fingers, everything, head turns and all the rest of it.  And then,  they put it into some program on the computer or something and I stood around for about ten, fifteen minutes. In fifteen minutes I could walk in my outfit into the center of the room and turn my head, move my fingers […] and I could look at a monitor and see a sort of formative stage of Ultron doing everything I was doing.”

{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

We asked Paul what his reaction was when he found out that he would not only be playing J.A.R.V.I.S. for another MCO film, but he’d also be playing comic book favorite, The Vision:

“Well, it was sort of vindication really because I had just come out of a meeting with a producer who told me my career was over.  And I sat on the curb in Hollywood with my feet in the gutter, and my phone went, and I looked at it and went, ‘Hello?’  I didn’t recognize the number and it was Joss Whedon.  He said, ‘Do you want to play The Vision?’  And I went ‘yeah, I kinda do.’ “

We’ve seen Paul Bettany in other great films like The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind, so it was kind of unbelievable that someone would actually tell him that his career was ending. We also asked Paul what was the difference between recording the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. all alone, to being on set with the rest of the cast as The Vision.

“What was the difference?  The difference was I had to go to the gym.  Had to stop eating carbs.  I finally got to be on set with a bunch of really lovely, creative, talented people.  However, it also means that I have to show up at junkets now, you know?  [LAUGHTER] The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”

{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

James is known for his complex and not-so family friendly movie roles. We were interested in finding out if he jumped at the chance to play Ultron since it’s a role that his kids would be able to see him perform.

“I have never in my entire career ever chosen a film to work on for the sake of my children.  And most of the films that I’ve done, they really shouldn’t watch.  I remember I took my mother when she was in her eighties to go with me to Sundance to see this film I did called Secretary…”

Paul: “What a schoolboy error that was!” [LAUGHTER]

James’s sons are all very much into comic books and superheroes, so he was excited at the chance to be part of the Avengers franchise,

“[My 3 year old son] was already sort of raiding his brother’s little figures and little things like that and was excited about it.  And I just thought, I just want to make a film for them, you know?  So I went in and I sat down with Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham, [because] they had reached out to my agent and said, “You know, we’d love to sit down with James.”

{Exclusive Interview} Paul Bettany and James Spader #AvengersEvent

If you’ve seen Avengers: Age of Ultron (and you should have by now), you notice that The Vision’s makeup is very intricate. We asked Paul if The Vision was all makeup or if there was some CGI involved.

“It was a lot of makeup, ha ha. I would sit in the chair and then you would wait for eternity to come and then you’d be… done.  So it was all real.”

There were a few prosthetics placed on Paul’s face to help with The Vision’s expressions.

“But they would have tracking dots on so that they would then move the circuitry on my face and my musculature could move and you could still see me express things, ‘Cause we tried having full prosthetics that went over everything and we lost a lot of expression in the face.”

And lastly, we just had to ask Paul about a special part in the movie where The Vision yields a very important weapon {spoiler alert}.

Q: What’s it like being the only other superhero who can wield Thor’s hammer?

“I’m not sure I’m even allowed to talk about that.  I think that’s number one in bold print on my things not to talk about.”

Actors sure are protective of the spoilers, aren’t they?

Thor’s hammer has an ongoing joke throughout the movie, so when you see it, you’ll understand why Paul was so hesitant to answer the question.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters now!

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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