Paul Bettany was born into a theatre family. His father, Thane Bettany, is still an actor but his mother, Anne Kettle, has retired from acting. He has an older sister who is a writer and a mother. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne (her maiden and stage name), was a successful actress, while his maternal grandfather, Lesley Kettle, was a musician and promoter. He was brought up in North West London and, after the age of 9, in Hertfordshire (Brookmans Park). Immediately after finishing at Drama Centre, he went into the West End to join the cast of "An Inspector Calls", though when asked to go on tour with this play, he chose to stay in England.IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous
|Jennifer Connelly||(1 January 2003 - present) 2 children|
Often plays secondary characters who are scene stealers
Towering height and slender frame
Developed laryngitis after filming A Knight's Tale (2001) because of all the yelling he had to do as Geoffrey Chaucer.
Also plays the guitar, and used to busk on Westminster Bridge in London.
Acted for a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
August 5, 2003 - his wife, Jennifer Connelly, gave birth to their first child, a boy.
Apparently turned down the role of the Tooth Fairy in Red Dragon (2002) (most probably offered to him after his frightening appearance as psycho gangster in Gangster No. 1 (2000)) in favour of a much more poorly paid role in Lars von Trier's Dogville (2003).
Has appeared in many theatre productions, debuting in Stephen Daldry's production of "An Inspectors Calls," grabbing the American film industry's attention in Joe Penhall's "Love and Understanding." He also appeared in "One More Waster Year" and "Stranger's House."
Nominated for Best Actor for his role in Gangster No1 by London Film Critics Circle Awards.
When he was 16, his younger brother Matthew, who was 8, died in a fall. Consequently, he claimed to be obsessed with having lots of children.
Won Evening Standard Film Award 2001 for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight's Tale (2001).
Writer/director Brian Helgeland wrote the role of Chaucer in A Knight's Tale (2001) specifically for Paul. He "refused" to do the movie without him. The production companies did not think Bettany was known well enough, Helgeland thought that if he backed down on his choice of Bettany, he would have to back down on everything else.
Was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in June 2004.
He had to wear a wig for The Da Vinci Code (2006) because, when they bleached his hair, the bleach burned bleeding holes in his head.
Gave up smoking in 2005 after seeing his 2 year-old son, Stellan, imitating him with a pen.
Grandson of Olga Gwynne and Lesley Kettle.
His wife, Jennifer Connelly, is expecting their second child, her third [December 14, 2010].
His wife Jennifer Connelly gave birth to their daughter Agnes Lark Bettany at home in New York City via a scheduled water birth (31 May 2011).
Decided at the age of 19 that he wanted to be an actor.
The world is split into two kinds of people, those who would go out for a drink with John Lennon, and those who'd choose Paul McCartney ... After The Beatles came back from India, Lennon wrote "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and McCartney wrote "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". End of argument.
My plan - well, it isn't much of a plan, but it's mine and I like it - is to try to do lots of different things.
I love the way British people see ourselves. We say, 'He's like us, a bit of a loser.'
A woman, who shall remain nameless, said to me, 'You're going to love LA, Paul, because over here ambition is not a dirty word.' And I thought, 'Well, you've named one of the things that I feel quite patriotic about.' It's still a little bit embarrassing in Britain if you're seen to try.
One of my film heroes is Peter Weir, who made Fearless (1993) but also made Green Card (1990). Ang Lee makes a western, he makes a Seventies psycho movie, a costume drama and a monster movie. I wanted to be like that. I finished this in October and I haven't worked since, because my wife [the actress Jennifer Connelly] had just had the baby and I wanted to be with them. But I've just taken on a film called Firewall (2006), which is a thriller with Harrison Ford. I'm doing it because I've never done a thriller before and I just get ... I just get bored if I don't do different things.
I wouldn't want to tumble with Harrison Ford in real life. He's a tough son of a bitch. I threw that man through a window seven times and he landed on his head, got up, rebuilt the window with the crew and then got thrown through it again. I hit that man in the stomach and he said, 'Could you just land it a bit harder so I could feel it?' So I landed it a bit harder and he wanted a bit more so he could react to it. Finally, I just wound one up and let loose on him and he said, 'That's it!' It was the most humiliating day of my life.
I'm English, so I can't wear a baseball cap. I'd look like white trash, like I should have a beer and a dog called Skeeter.
Recalling once attending a photo-shoot with Connelly where she was asked to wear just a bra: And she said, 'No, no, not gonna do it,' and so they asked her to wear a man's dinner jacket. And I'm thinking, 'How many times have I seen this, you unimaginative bastards?' So she does it, and then the magazine cover gets pulled, 'cos she wouldn't wear the bra. Because that's what's men's magazines that are sort of soft porn want. They're more insidious than porn magazines.
On how Hollywood treats its female actors: In general it's so much more of an objectification. You know the drill, it's a true story. For instance, if I am being asked to have a picture taken on the cover of a magazine, maybe they're wanting me to look sexy, maybe they're wanting me to look rugged, maybe they're wanting me to look fragile. With a woman, they want you to look available, essentially, that you are in some way inviting. And that's just fucking depressing.
(On The Da Vinci Code (2006)) I'd love to make a movie that shakes the world and offends people, but I really. Didn't think it was going to be this one. I think next to The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), it's Tonka Toys. Nobody seemed to get offended by Martin Scorsese's movie, no one seemed to get offended when Francis Ford Coppola made a movie where he suggested that the Mafia and the Vatican were in cahoots. Nobody picketed that. I play a monk who murders people, but it's no more a comment on monks than it is on people who wear sandals. Or big long brown dresses.
... reading to both my kids has always been important. My wife, Jennifer, and I read to them every night. It's the most delicious time of the day when your child is all sleepy and cuddly and they get to snuggle up and you read them a bedtime story. It's the bit of parenting that makes up for when they're screaming and shouting at you.
I do love to make music. When I was younger, growing up in London, I'd go to Westminster Bridge and play guitar to pick up a few coins from passersby. Every year we have a band that gets together and plays rock songs. This year, my stepson joined the band for the first time playing guitar and it was such a lovely, moving experience.
[on "Charles Darwin", whom he plays in Creation (2009/I)] - I couldn't believe the amount of violence that you can find on the Internet directed at a man who's been dead for a very long time. There's vicious diatribes full of hatred for Darwin. Actually, he was, by all accounts, one of the sweetest human beings you can possibly imagine. But there are still a lot of people who just can't accept his thinking without getting irrational. He was an atheist and so am I, but I don't think that makes me immoral.
When I was a kid I took some martial arts classes, but on Legion (2010) the stunt coordinators made you look like you can do the things that you can't, which is fantastic. I had an embarrassing amount of fun. It was like playing with a bunch of 10-year-olds who don't mind if you hit them. I had a scene where I threw a child zombie in the air who was attacking me. Actually, it was a small stunt person who was an adult. Everybody shot him and we were all giggling, even the poor guy who was being thrown. You can't take that stuff seriously.
I did Legion (2010) so I could shoot a big gun and channel Jackie Chan. I wouldn't lie to you. I don't like real guns, but the fake firearms are fantastic. My machine gun was huge and made a lot noise, but it didn't hurt anybody. I'm usually the bad guy in movies like this, so I got a kick out of being the hero.
My dad made a lot of stories up at bedtime. He would create these wild stories about this elephant. As I got older, I remember him reading Lord of the Rings. My strongest memory was the moment when you think Frodo is dead and I forced him to read about 250 more pages until you realized he was okay.
[on his film 'Priest'] The vampires in our film are creatures, they are full-on monsters and full-on ferocious, formidable beasts. They're really not your romantic idea of what the vampire is. This is a species that, in our world, has coexisted with human beings forever and we have just been managing a war forever...Now the war is over and the vampires are contained and the priests are relics. It's over for them, a little like Vietnam veterans...rendered totally unfit for normal life due to their experiences.
I love westerns and the reason I love really good westerns is because they are really classical. Their structure is like a Roman tragedy. Lots of violence, lots of vengeance and occasionally redemption. They are wonderfully brutal.
For some ungodly reason, I end up being naked in a lot of stuff. But there is a certain grace and kudos that come with taking your clothes off the first day, a respect that is given by the rest of the cast.
[on if there's anything about being a musician that prepares one for being an actor] Well, it's interesting. You know, I was able to look at a group of kids that were sitting on the stairs when I used to busk, which is play music, and I'd be able to judge whether they were French or, you know, what their nationality was. So if they were French, I would think, "Well, the Cure are huge in France, so I'll play a bunch of Cure songs." So I suppose in sort of recognizing what your audience wants, but I say that with trepidation because I'm not sure we should necessarily give the audience what they want. [laughs] You know what I mean? We live in a world where you make a film -- you spend two years in development, and then you spend six months in prep, then you shoot it for four months, and then spend another year editing it, and then you take it to a small town outside San Diego and show it to 60 teenagers, and then change your movie depending on what they say. I'm lost. Now you've lost me, because, you know, every 16-year-old boy is going to say, "I think it should be a bit more like Underworld," you know what I mean? Should we then make every film a bit more like Underworld? I'm not sure that that's a great way to go about creating new stuff.
[on if he likes to play characters who only see in black and white] No, I don't. I think, conversely, I sort of see the job of my life being a process of becoming less judgmental as I get older. That's what I want to do. Acting has so many vain and awful things about it, but one of the really edifying things about it is you can, at times, get the opportunity to put yourself imaginatively in another human being's position and try to see things from their perspective. I see that as a real gift, and I hope that this is part of making me a better human being, whatever that f---ing means. But I mean it, you know? I do at least mean it. I really want to make films that I care about, and this film ["Margin Call"] really sparked an awakening in me, just remembering all of the reasons I initially wanted to be an actor. It was just a fantastic experience. Seventeen days, we shot this f---ing movie; it was just unbelievable. It was an unbelievable comradely experience, and I hanker after it. You know, I've been on jobs that were seven months long, and I have many more memories of this job than those.
[on Raging Bull (1980)] I defy anybody to point out one thing that's wrong with it. It's just perfect.
[on Daniel Day-Lewis and his performance in In the Name of the Father (1993)] It is one of the most exquisite performances of all time. I saw it when I was a student of acting, and there was lots of people to admire; there was Robert De Niro, and there was Al Pacino, and here was an English person, making such a complete and visceral transformation in character that you just went, "Oh my God, we're allowed to do that sort of thing, too?" That felt really empowering.
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