Lifestyle Features

Vision in the House: Paul Bettany in Asia Pop Comicon 2015

Matthew Olivares, contributor - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – From the witty and charismatic Geoffrey Chaucer to the vampire slaying Priest to voicing Tony Stark’s virtual assistant and butler JARVIS, Paul Bettany is now a superhero in the form of the godlike robot known as Vision as a member of The Avengers. He flew from the United States to be a part of the first ever Asia Pop Comicon in the Philippines to interact with fans and discuss with them and the press about his critically acclaimed role in the Marvel Universe as well answering questions about traveling, food, his life as an actor and what he geeks out on.

On becoming a superhero

“When I was casted to play JARVIS, they gave me a bag of money and I just left like a thief. Now, I have to do more work for more money,” said Bettany about transitioning from playing the voice of JARVIS to having a physical body in the form of Vision.

He fell in love with the role because he was fascinated about the character being this almighty and powerful robot that operates on logic, which makes the character all the more enigmatic and dangerous because if by chance an enemy’s viewpoint for the world is more logically sound than that of his fellow Avengers, he could easily turn on them. What makes Bettany love the character even more is that despite basing his decisions through logic, Vision is on a journey slowly learning what love is and how loyalty is born out of it, and to become more human.

Bettany clarified that even if Vision was born out of fusing JARVIS with the cyborg body that was supposed to be Ultron’s container, Vision is not JARVIS in physical form. JARVIS is an artificial intelligence, a servile creation; Vision is not a servant.

His experience working with Marvel is nothing short of fantastic because he likes that the United States has created a modern mythology comprised of the superheroes that people read, draw and watch today. He grew up in Great Britain and read a lot of Greek mythology, so moving the United States and becoming a part of the superhero pantheon is a new and surreal experience for him.

He even feels lucky to be able to play two characters.

“There’s a rule in Marvel that we can only play one character. I’m lucky enough to play two. Joss Whedon found some sort of a loophole by inserting JARVIS into the body of Vision.”

When asked if there was another superhero that he would like to play as or to switch with another member of the Avengers cast, he would love to play Iron Man.

“My four year old daughter is in love with Robert Downey, Jr. It’s humiliating,” joked Bettany. “I would like to play Iron Man because he gets paid more.” He also wants his own JARVIS to take care of the chores he loathes the most: doing the laundry and emptying the dishwash.

He is open to playing a super villain and thinks that he will surely relish in the role if given the chance in the future. “I’m English, so I tend to sound evil. It’s a hangover from our colonial past.”

On traveling and life as an actor

“It’s a fabulous thing to be able to travel and to meet people that are heavily invested what you’re doing,” said Bettany.

Being able to travel is one of the perks of being a celebrated actor in the film industry that he loves, though he says that he would like to travel more that does not have anything to do with business. When invited to guest as a celebrity for events such as comic and fan conventions, he cannot help but feel a little sad because he experiences the country through an airconditioned room and the venue that he is supposed to appear in. He wants to experience the country by sightseeing without having marshals and bodyguards following him around. He is able to do so when he is filming in a particular country, he has a lot of time to learn and get to know it more because he will live there for a couple of months up to a year. He also wants to meet new people through food.

What makes up for his sadness of being restricted by his hotel room are the fans.

“It was lovely watching the footage of Captain America 3 with the fans. When the fans are screaming with joy, it’s reassuring. That means you’re not messing up.”

Bettany shared a little about his past, graduating from a drama school and trying to make a living as a street performer during his early years as an actor. He has been told many times that his career was over because there were some roles that critics and heads in the film industry thought that he performed poorly or that he starred in terrible films, but he always kept his head up high telling himself that “Life is curly. You’ll never know what’s around the corner.”

He is very happy where he is right now and for the opportunity of being able to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Vision.

“In the end, everything shall pass,” talking about the trend of the superhero. “But I have no idea nor do I see signs of it fading away anytime soon, which is good news for me.”

When he is not filming anything, he geeks out on the Walking Dead. He is afraid of the show ending, so afraid that it keeps him awake at night.

“I’ve been watching it since the beginning. I’m so frightened with a life without the Walking Dead.”












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