In the first Iron Man film, Jarvis was little more than Tony Stark’s personal Siri: a snide digital assistant who made the industrialist’s appointments and looked after his suits. He’s had a few upgrades since then, and in The Avengers: Age of Ultron Paul Bettany (who has played the A.I. since the beginning) gets to set foot in the real world. Just don’t expect him to fetch your drink or iron your socks.
“Without giving too much away, he’s not really Jarvis,” Bettany told RadioTimes.com. “Jarvis is definitely part of the creation, but Jarvis is a servant, and there’s nothing servile about the Vision. I don’t think he would really wait on you. It’s hard to be that powerful and a butler.”
Bettany’s voice featured in the first Avengers, but Bettany had never actually interacted with the other actors. How did he feel talking to someone other than Robert Downey Jr?
“Delighted,” he deadpans. ”It’s nice to be finally on set with these people you have supposed to have been working with for ten years but haven’t actually met. I was peculiarly undaunted by the first day. I turned up on set and Downey Jr made a speech and was very charming. Of course, I couldn’t hear the speech because of my make-up, but it looked like he was being charming.”
“I smiled a lot.”
Back in 2008, Bettany had no idea that one day he would be painted purple and wear a cape, but plans have been afoot for some time now. “I believe that they had plans for me that then changed, I heard from Jeremy Latchem that they always wanted to make me part of the physical world, but they didn’t know how.” he explained. “I became aware of what was going to happen about three years ago [just after the first Avengers and before Iron Man 3]. I had to diligently keep it a secret.
Speaking of secrets, when are we going to see the Vision next?
“I’m not allowed to say, but I can say that the character continues.”
Most illuminating, as Jarvis would say.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is released in UK cinemas today