As part of the #AvengersEvent Age of Ultron press trip, we had a great interview with really the main hero & villain of the film–Vision (Paul Bettany) and Ultron (James Spader)! Though not new to villainy, this was a first for James Spader..as it’s not everyday you play a crazy 8-foot “murder bot” and go to work in fractal suits. And, it was new territory for Paul Bettany as well. Though he’sbeen in a bunch of other Marvel Universe movies as the voice of Tony Stark’s “Jarvi”, this is the first time we see him on screen “in the flesh” as it were. In fact, I asked Paul Bettany about this experience and if it was different actually being IN the movie vs. just his voice being in the film.
Paul: The difference was I had to go to the gym. I had to stop eating carbs. I finally got to be on set with a bunch of really lovely, creative, talented people. However, it also means that I have to show up at junkets now, you know? [Laughter] The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
James: I did not have to cut back on carbs. Somehow, amazingly enough, those animators were able to slim me right down.
HA! So funny on the “CGI diet” for James Spader. But it’s no wonder Paul had to work out for ahead of time- Vision has quite the fitted suit! James Spader’s Ultron on the other hand is lots of CGI – but he was really “in” there so to speak. It’s Spader’s movements, mannerisms, etc.
James: “I was amazed that I saw, this magnificent body, you know, and made out of vibranium and all the rest of it, this sort of technological wonder. To actually see my 55-year-old sort of very comfy physique, and to see all of my sort of gesture and posture and movements and expression and all of it was there.
My son did see the film a couple of days ago. He said, ‘I really saw your eyes and your expression and certainly head movements, everything. I saw it all there. So I was worth it to go through all of the arduous process of motion capture…which is fascinating actually.
James was the chattiest of all of the cast we interviewed! I think we could have talked with him all day! So many stories..all told in the infamous Spader voice! My favorite part of the interview was to hear him share his excitement about doing the movie…and his reason for that excitement.
James: “Two to three years prior to the telephone to me from Joss Whedon, I had met with Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham. I have never in my entire career ever chosen a film to work on for the sake of my children. I have three sons. And most of the films that I’ve done, um, they really shouldn’t watch. I just thought, I just want to make a film for them, you know? So I went in and I sat down with Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham and they had reached out to my agent and said, “You know, we’d love to sit down with James.” So I sat down with him and I said, “I just would love to do one of these things and just be such fun.” And I told him the reasons why and I think he really responded to that ’cause that’s his fan base, you know? There’d be things that came along the way over the next like two years or so and, and he would be like, “I just don’t know if it’s the one, you know. I know what James is looking for. He wants a really great bad guy and some really great something, you know.” So all of a sudden, like, about two or three years after that meeting, Joss Whedon walked into their offices and said, “You know, I don’t really have anyone else for this role except for James Spader.” And they said, “Well, funny you should mention that ’cause we’ve been trying to find the right thing. And so the next thing was a phone call from Joss.
And, the rest is history!! So fun! How cool to see your dad playing this epic crazy robot!!! I bet his boys were all so excited!! I know it’s one that our boys are going to absolutely love once they’re a bit older! For more Avengers stories & thoughts from the actors, be sure to read the other interviews. It’s so fun to hear the actor’s thoughts on things!
- Thor & Captain America (Chris Hemsworth & Chris Evans) Interview
- Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Olsen) Interview
- Hawkeye & Maria Hill Interview
- Director Joss Whedon
- Producer Kevin Feige
Disclosure: Disney hosted me in LA in order to attend the film screenings and to participate in group interviews & media events. As always, all opinions, experiences, and love of Disney are entirely my own! All photos above are courtesy of Disney/Marvel and MerlotMommy.com