Like many working actors, Paul Bettany found himself in limbo while sheltering at home in Brooklyn last year during the pandemic. The actor, 49, had just begun shooting the highly anticipated Disney Plus Avengers spin-off series WandaVision, in which he resurrects his role as the android hero Vision, when production was halted and he returned home to his family, including wife Jennifer Connelly, 50, sons Kai, 23, and Stellan, 17, and daughter Agnes, 9.
“I kept thinking I was going back, and so I had to kind of stay in shape,” he says of maintaining Vision’s superhero physique. “So while the rest of the world seemed to be eating banana bread and making their own sourdough starters, I was having to resist it. C’mon, I’m an old man; I just want to eat cheese and sit in a chair and read a book!”
Bettany isn’t going to get that wish anytime soon. Now entrenched in his thriving career, he’s grateful for his journey from early years marked by tragedy to his nearly 20-year relationship with Connelly. With WandaVision premiering in January, the British actor is poised for the resurgence of his fan-favorite character, who died in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. The new weekly series is a play on the various eras of TV sitcoms, following super-couple Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Bettany’s Vision. Bettany admits he was blindsided when first approached about the spin-off.
“I got the call to come into the office, and I went in and said, ‘Hi guys, it’s been a great ride and thank you,’ and they went, ‘Wait, no, we want to pitch you a TV show,’” he recalls, laughing. “I went, ‘What?’ It was really lovely.”
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