What makes Iron Man, Iron Man? is it his suit? Yes of course. Is it his arc reactor? That too. Or is it the charismatic enigma of Robert Downey Jr playing the billionaire philanthropist playboy and genius Tony Stark? Well, all of those factors combine to make the Iron Man of Marvel Studios one of the most beloved and revered superheroes to date. But even Tony Stark sometimes is lost inside his head, unbelievable genius as he is, he is also prone to the mortal flaw of being human. Thankfully, Stark has an invisible friend that helps him, guides him, and is there whenever he needs a shoulder of support.
That’s right, he’s not Iron Man without his AI butler/friend/companion Jarvis.
Actor Paul Bettany has been a fixture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the first Iron Man. Starting out as the disembodied A.I. Jarvis, he would later move on to playing the superhero Vision. But when the actor was first recruited for the MCU, he compared his casting to a robbery.
“Almost Felt Like A Robbery,” Says Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany’s had a brief and crisp first appearance in Marvel Studio’s first-ever movie Iron Man in 2008, where he was not visible as Robert Downey Jr’s well-mannered and humble sentient AI assistant Jarvis. He recalled an incident while talking with GQ about when the director of the Iron Man Trilogy and the face of Happy Hogan John Favreau called him up and asked him to play Jarvis.
“I got a phone call from Jon Favreau saying, ‘I need the voice of a personality-less robot and I thought of you immediately.’ I thought that was the funniest thing I ever heard, so I said ‘Yes,’” The WandaVision star recalled in his interview.
Bettany also admitted that he could not help but feel a little guilty while voicing Jarvis In Iron Man due to the minimal work that was required and the huge paycheck that awaited after the seemingly easy two-hour work schedule.
“I feel like a pirate. This is robbery. I walk in, I say some lines on a piece of paper for two hours, and then they give me a bag of money and I leave and I go about my day,” Bettany said. “I sort of feel guilty because at least acting can be exhausting, with long hours… but I do nothing! And I’ve never seen one of them,” said Bettany in an interview with Digital Spy.
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What’s Next For Vision.
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, It almost became clear that Vision’s role had ended along with the movie. We were not sure if we would see Bettany’s performance again. WandaVision did give us Vision one more time, but it was all literally made up, and yet again ended with the show. Now, as we see the events of the multiverse thrown into chaos, who knows what will happen, but we know that we will be hoping for it nonetheless.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+