Paul Bettany Updates: Paul Bettany has found success as a Marvel star, but the actor claims he was once “the shyest boy on earth” before taking on the role of Vision.
On the set of his Sexiest Man Alive photoshoot, Bettany, 50, told PEOPLE that he was a shy young man growing up in London. The Wanda Vision star recalls how difficult school was for him, noting how he never raised his hand in class and “couldn’t talk to anyone.”
“During, I guess what you call, recess, I used to hide in the deputy headmaster’s office because I was terribly bullied, and I was just shy,” Bettany explains.
The actor claims he was a “terrified” and “extremely skinny” kid who “used to wear two pairs of jeans” to hide his thin stature.
“I was incredibly awkward, and not only physically,” he adds. “I looked like a newly born colt that couldn’t stand up properly.” “But I was also completely inept socially.”
Bettany didn’t have great hopes of being an actor growing up, even though he went on to feature in films like A Knight’s Tale, A Beautiful Mind, and Iron Man. “I had goals to survive secondary school and that was about it,” he tells PEOPLE.
He wanted to be a guitarist after school, but his shyness got in the way when he was too afraid to perform his tunes.
“I became an actor after a long, unusual journey,” he explains. “I detested performing my songs in front of others, which is an obvious roadblock to being a singer/songwriter.”
“What I really enjoyed about it was there was a buffer between me and the audience,” Bettany explained, explaining how he “fell into acting by mistake.”
What Paul Bettany Shared About His School Life?Pinkvilla
Bettany says he was “very, very, alone” before enrolling in theatre school, but everything changed for him when he fell into acting and “kind of found [his] feet socially.” Bettany hails from a family of actors; his father, Thane, was an actor and teacher, and his mother, Anne, was a theater teacher.
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Bettany claims to have lost his self-consciousness since his mid-to-late twenties when he “stopped feeling so much guilt and embarrassment about everything.”
He’s learned to lean into unpleasant situations, stating, “The sooner something embarrassing or bad happens to you, the easier it will be to turn it into a humorous anecdote. Everything simply vanishes.”
“I spent a lot of time obsessing about things that never f——— happened,” Bettany continues.