British born, Paul Bettany was classically trained at the Drama Centre in London. He made his stage debut in a West End production of An Inspector Calls under the direction of Stephen Daldry and spent a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in productions of Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar before landing his first feature film role in Bent opposite Sir Ian McKellen.
Bettany returned to the stage to appear in Joe Penhall’s Love and Understanding at London’s Bush Theatre. He later reprised that role at the Longwharf Theatre in Connecticut. The play led to more British television work, including Lynda La Plante’s Killer Net and Coming Home, in which he starred opposite Peter O’Toole.
Bettany’s appearance in the Royal Court Theatre productions of One More Wasted Year and Stranger’s House preceded his second feature film role in David Leland’s Land Girls with Rachel Weisz.
Bettany was nominated for a British Independent Film award and a London Film Critics’ Award for Best Newcomer in IFC’s Gangster No.1, directed by Paul McGuigan, and starring Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, and Saffron Burrows.
American audiences first discovered him in Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale, in which he played the comical role of Chaucer opposite Heath Ledger. For this performance, he won the London Film Critics’ Award for Best Supporting Actor, and he was named one of Daily Variety’s “Ten to Watch” for 2001. He then re-teamed with Paul McGuigan for the Paramount Classics’ mystery-thriller, The Reckoning, opposite Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassell and Brian Cox.
Bettany next starred as the imaginary roommate opposite Russell Crowe, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly in the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind for director Ron Howard. His performance in the film won him the London Film Critic’s Award for Best British Actor.
Bettany then starred in Thadeus O’Sullivan’s intense, independent feature, The Heart of Me, opposite Olivia Williams and Helena Bonham-Carter. Keen to test himself further he went on to star in Dogville, director Lars Von Trier’s dramatic thriller opposite Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skaarsgard.
Bettany then starred opposite Crowe again in Fox’s Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World for director Peter Weir. His performance won him the Evening Standard Award for Best British Actor, the London Film Critic’s Award for Best Supporting Actor for both M&C, as well as, The Heart of Me and the Elle Style Award for Best Actor in M& C and Dogville. His nominations include a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor and a Broadcast Film Crtics Association nomination for Best Supporting Actor in M&C.
He then starred in the Working Title / Universal feature Wimbledon, opposite Kirsten Dunst, Jon Favreau and James McAvoy for director Richard Loncraine
He went on to star as “Silas” in Sony’s highly anticipated film, The Da Vinci Code based on Dan Brown's novel and directed by Ron Howard. The film went on to huge box office success driven by its star powered cast, which included Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen and Alfred Molina.
He was next seen in the feature Inkheart a fantasy adventure trilogy for New Line Cinema / Warner Bros. based on the best-selling children’s books, in which he starred opposite Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis as Dustfinger, a fire-eating performer, for director Iain Softley.
In a radically different role, Fox Searchlight’s feature The Secret Life of Bees, had him starring opposite Dakota Fanning, based on the best-selling book. The same year he was also heard as the voice of “Jarvis” in the highly successful film, Iron Man directed by Jon Favreau. He later lent his voice for the same role in Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.
In 2009, he starred in Oscar winning producer, Graham King and Martin Scorsese’s period drama, The Young Victoria in which Paul stars opposite Emily Blunt and Jim Broadbent. He then starred in Creation, opposite his wife Jennifer Connelly, which had him playing torn scientist, Charles Darwin, battling between his infinite love for his devout Christian wife and his realization that his revolutionary theories on evolution, were at complete odds.
In 2010, he was seen as Archangel “Michael” for Screen Gems thriller, Legion, starring opposite Dennis Quaid for director Scott Stewart. He continued his collaboration with Scott Stewart again in the Screen Gems feature Priest opposite Maggie Q and Lily Collins.
He was then seen in the Sony pictures feature, The Tourist, opposite Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie directed by Oscar winner Florian henckel von Donnersmarck.
In 2011, Paul starred in the independent feature, Margin Call, opposite Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons and Zachary Quinto, which was nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay, nominated at the Gotham Awards for best Ensemble Cast, and won the Robert Altman award at The Independent Spirit Awards.
He went on to star in Nick Murphy’s British feature film Blood alongside Mark Strong, Stephen Graham, and Brian Cox and the Chritopher Nolan produced feature, Transcendence opposite Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman for director Wally Pfister. He reunited with Depp in the feature film Mortdecai also opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor.
His film Shelter, which he wrote, directed and produced starring Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie was released in the Fall of 2016. The film was nominated for Best Debut feature at the Raindance Film Festival in London.
His film Captain America: Civil War was released earlier this year. He was seen reprising the role of Vision from the Avengers: Age of Ultron, part of the highly successful Marvel franchise.
He has finished shooting the feature film Journey’s End opposite Asa Butterfield, Sam Claflin and Toby Jones.
Paul currently resides in NY with his wife and three children.
Captain America: Civil War
Avengers: Age of Ultron