Written By Scott J Grunewald Via 3DPrint.com
As one of the highest grossing films of all time it is a pretty safe bet that the Marvel Studios’ latest film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, did something right. There were certainly plenty of notable moments and new characters in the film, but there was almost universal praise for the Vision, the newest Avenger played by Paul Bettany. Acting in a Marvel film wasn’t new to Bettany, as he had voiced Tony Stark’s digital butler J.A.R.V.I.S. through all three Iron Man films and the first Avengers movie. But when it came time to cast the android superhero Marvel brought him on screen, and then promptly hid him behind makeup and prosthetics.
Any actor who has been through the rigors of wearing a lot of prosthetic makeup in a film will talk about the challenges involved, both as an actor and just as a person being asked to sit still for hours on end. Heavy prosthetic makeup can restrict many of an actor’s tools such as facial expressions and body language, so they often have to learn entire new ways of communicating with film viewers. And considering they are usually required to spend several hours sitting in place before they even are given the chance to act, the process is often nothing short of exhausting.
However Bettany’s performance was widely regarded as one of the highpoints of Age of Ultron by both critics and fans alike. As a long time comic reader, I was highly skeptical that Marvel and the film’s director, nerd overlord Joss Whedon, would be able to bring the Vision to life without sacrificing his visual impact. A tall, bright red and green android just seems like it would work better in a comic than on a movie screen. Not only was I wrong, but it turns out that the amazing makeup not only sold the visual look of the character, but allowed Bettany the freedom to do what he was hired to do–act.