Paul Bettany on How He Rekindled His Love for Acting

Millions of people probably know Paul Bettany best for being the witty English voice of Iron Man’s virtual assistant, Jarvis.  While that’s not completely a shame (those gigs probably land Bettany quite a bit of well-deserved money), viewers who haven’t seen more of Bettany’s work are missing out on a wonderful actor — particularly now, when Bettany claims he feels re-energized.  In an interview with The Guardian, Bettany talks about his recent role in the movie Blood and what rekindled his love for acting.

Blood follows a harrowing arc for his character, and Bettany points out that one of the difficulties of being an actor is having to portray a character’s breakdown when the movie is shot out of sequence.  He says, “Directors always say, ‘Oh, we’ll shoot it in sequence,’ but it turns out to be an incredibly costly way of working, because it involves moving lots of trucks. Consequently, you have to shoot all the scenes that take place in one location, then move on to the next. But for all that, I was quite fastidious about the part. I tracked the character’s state very carefully in the script, as though it were a graph. I mean, that’s my fucking job, I suppose. I’m making it sound very technical and sophisticated.”

When asked if acting bores him now, Bettany admits that he got bored with it for a while when he was doing it only for the money — but a low-budget movie changed all that.  He explains, “Acting used to be somewhere I could put loads of terrible feelings and bad experiences and try to make something creative out of them. But then I married and had children and everything got eclipsed. I know how precarious life can be, so I then had a period when I was making as much money as I could, so my children would be safe. Then I made a film called Margin Call, which was shot in two weeks on a low budget. I made it almost by mistake and it ended up reminding me of what I loved about acting in the beginning.”

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