Open letter to Paul Bettany

Dear Mr. Bettany,

Earlier today, a friend of mine recommended a movie, which I initially mistook for something you’d been in recently. Both movies looked unimpressive to me, but my friend was complimentary of the movie he saw, and for a moment I got really excited until I realized I’d confused the two. You see, I’m a fan. I really am. But…how do I say this politely? You don’t always make the best movies.

Please understand that I am truly a fan. I will admit that while you were entertaining in A Knight’s Tale, that movie is sort of mid-range for you, and it wasn’t until A Beautiful Mind that I really sat up and took notice. It is still my firm belief that you were robbed of a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Master & Commander, which is one of my most favorite movies ever. Yes, I’m a Russell Crowe fan. Do you still talk to him at all? Please tell him I said hi. After those two movies, I kept my eyes and ears open because I was positive that you were going to be a huge hit. And then…The Da Vinci Code? Really, Paul? Don’t even get me started on Legion and that other one about the vampires, or whatever it was. Priest. Why? Why is an actor of your caliber making laughable horror/fantasy movies? Why aren’t you getting more calls for period dramas, gritty action pieces, or even more comedies? Heck, I don’t think the notion of a superhero is that far out there for you, with your long and lanky physique and all. Not to get too personal, but your shirtless scenes were some of the highlights of Inkheart (we’ll come back to this in a minute). Your looks seem to me to be able to adapt to both period and modern genres well, so I really just don’t get it.

I know that a lot of movie stars like to make a variety of movies, and I get that. I know that sometimes you’re just looking for a paycheck. I get that you turn down movies to spend time with your newborn daughter, but do those movies have to be eventual Best Picture winners?? Colin Firth won an Oscar, Paul. The King’s Speech was huge. Priest? Was not. My point here is that I’d really like to see more of you, Mr. Bettany. You’re good-looking, intelligent, funny, and you’ve got a British accent. Isn’t that supposed to be gold in Hollywood, for pete’s sake? You’re not even as old as some gentlemen in the business currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts (like Robert Downey, Jr. OMG, can I just say that I freaking love your voice work in the Iron Man movies? Fantastic!), and again, I’m positive you’ve got the physicality to pull that stuff off. Ok, let’s go back to Inkheart. The books are pure magic. I love them, and have actively campaigned my husband to name a future son Mortimer, for real. The movie was, in my opinion, a cinematic tragedy. The casting was oh-so-brilliant, and it should have been magnificent, something to rival the Harry Potter franchise, but instead, it was kind of a mess. I pine for the sequels, for your chance to shine as Dustfinger (for whom you were perfect) and for your real-life wife, the stunning Jennifer Connelly, to play Roxanne. Forgive me just the slightest tangent, but I worship J. Con. I want to look like her when I grow up. You guys are one of my top couple crushes (after the Obamas, maybe tied with the Downeys). You should make more movies with her! She’s all Oscar-winner, heavy drama lady, right? I was really sad that Creation didn’t get better reviews, but you guys should totally try again. Maybe something a little less controversial. I mean, look at A Beautiful Mind. That was a really, really good movie, you know?

I have to admit that there are movies of yours that are considered pretty good that I have yet to see. Creation is on that list, as well as The Young Victoria. I’ve even got The Tourist on my Netflix queue, mainly because of you. Ok, and Angelina Jolie, but who can blame me for that? I might even manage to sit down for Margin Call someday, and I seriously hate Kevin Spacey. Movies like that seem to be where you are most able to make your mark; ensemble pictures with strong scripts and casts. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If that were the base of your career, I think you would have something to be proud of. Everyone can’t be a George Clooney. I’m not asking for that. You don’t have to be at the top of the A List. But do you think maybe you might consider B+ List? Maybe the A- List? I really think you’ve got what it takes. Please believe me, Mr. Bettany. You deserve so much more than Legion.

Sincerely yours,


PS-I know this idea gets tossed around from time to time, but if you were to happen to convince Mr. Crowe and Mr. Weir (over drinks, perhaps?) that the world needs a second M&C movie, well, that would just be the best thing ever. Thanks!

16 responses to “Open letter to Paul Bettany

  1. Ahah, I could’ve easily use written a similar letter for Gerry Butler (wait, no I actually did, though not as eloquent as yours obviously) 😀 I’m not a fan of Bettany, I think he’s just ok IHMO, but I did like him in Master & Commander. Yeah, Priest, Legion… those are dreadful, akin to Gamer and The Ugly Truth in Butler’s resume, and like you believing in Bettany, I too believe Butler is capable and deserve SO much more than those movies.

    P.S. Margin Call is good, Bettany is EXCELLENT in it, but so is Spacey 😀

    • I’m pretty interested in Margin Call, despite my dislike of Spacey. I’ll get around to it one of these days. You’re right, this post is similar to your letter to GB! I guess there are a lot of actors out there who we wish would make better choices, huh?

  2. Pls omit that word ‘use’ in that first line, not sure how it got in there.

  3. For utter Paul Bettany drek, try Wimbeldon. Cringe worthy throughout.

    • LOL My husband described it to me as a sports movie, and I LOVE cheesy sports movies, so I might be sold at this point. I will gladly watch Bettany run around in shorts for a while. Possibly even with Kirsten Dunst thrown in.

      Ooh, bonus James McAvoy??

  4. Bahahah! Wow, this was hysterical and I loved it! I agreed with everything you said, ESPECIALLY Inkheart (!) except for the Kevin Spacey comment. Bettany needs to make better movie choices and that’s that.

    • Yay, someone else who liked the Inkheart stuff? Awesome! I know I’m in the minority about KS, but I can’t stand that guy.

  5. I rather enjoyed the Inkheart movie. Never read the book though.

    • It wasn’t awful, but it didn’t do the book justice, either. They’re really great stories. The second two are actually even better than the first.

  6. Can I sign my name on this letter too? I love Paul Bettany but he is so underrated because, as you say, he just doesn’t turn up in the right movies. He’s a fantastic actor. It killed me to hear he turned down Javert in the upcoming Les Mis movie because that would have been fantastic. I wish he’d just put himself out there a bit more!

    • Sure thing! We’ll have to agree to disagree on Javert, though, because I think Russell Crowe is the most perfect casting ever. 🙂

  7. Not a fan I’m afraid. But I think he can pull it off

  8. He did a good job in 2011’s Margin Call.

  9. I LOVE THIS LETTER! too bad there is only like button, no love button here.

    I am 99% agree with everything you have written here. Why 99? because I have no regret toward his part in davinci code…he played Silas brilliantly, and that was the 1st time I saw him and fell for him. Since that day, he is in my list of 7actors I always watch no matter how crappy the movie is…even something terrible like legion.

    He is a good actor, he should choose his roles better

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s