As is to be expected, there are many things to love about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Two of those things are James Spader and Paul Bettany, specifically, how their new characters are introduced into the film. (Take it from this very lucky writer who saw the film last week that the Joss Whedon scripted and directed entrances of the very dangerous Ultron and the long-awaited Vision, are definitive highlights.)
You can get a taste of what the two talented actors bring to the table via the video interview above, in which Spader told Screen Rant the grand tale of Whedon’s wooing of him for the ‘funny’ and ‘threatening’ role and why Bettany might have to keep donning the purple makeup for personal, not contractual, reasons.
What was your reaction to reading the script for the first time?
Bettany: I thought, ‘Oh, that’s going to be a lot of waiting. Best bring crosswords’
Spader: [Laughs] The first thing I read actually was not a script. Well it was, but it was a creation just for me to decide whether I wanted to do the film or not. Joss had, I had spoken to him on the phone and we had a long long conversation about all of this and then I had spoken to Kevin Feige and then a package arrived and I said to Joss, ‘Do you have some material for me to look at?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ The script was in fact in the process of revisions and not in shape to send so he said, ‘Yeah I’d like to send you some stuff to read, so you can get a sense of this character.’ He did send me some stuff and it was funny and threatening and crazy and poetic and I loved it and thought, ‘Yes, now I know what I could bring to this eight-foot robot.’
And then I had to return the material, and I went and met with Kevin and Jeremy [Latcham], Joss was in London and they said, ‘You know, those aren’t actually scenes from the film. Joss wrote those specifically so you would get a sense of what this character was all about.’ He had sat down over the course of a couple of nights and written three or four scenes just so I had a sense of it and I thought that was a lovely thing to do. And he’d thrown the kitchen sink in there. It was, like I said, intimidating and then also quoting Emily Dickinson. As it turns out Emily Dickinson is not in the film but there is a lot of other stuff that is so I was really excited by that.
What was your reaction to seeing yourself in the full Vision makeup for the first time?
Well I was very worried about, my daughter had come to set with me and she’s three years old and I was very worried about what her reaction would be. She loved it and was very at home with it. The only problem was that she had a tantrum when I took it off, she wanted Purple Daddy, which was kind of humiliating. What’s wrong with me? But she was very adamant that she wanted Purple Daddy.
So that means you should probably endure for several more movies, right?
Ah yeah, absolutely.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.