Actor Paul Bettany features prominently in two major Disney films this year: Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, those roles are very different from each other. In the former, he plays the heroic android Vision; in the latter, he's the villainous Dryden Vos.
At today's Solo press conference, Bettany fielded a question about the experience of playing Solo's villain, at which point he compared playing Dryden with Vision. "He's a lot of fun to play," Bettany said. "It’s written really beautifully. Thank you guys. Having texted Ron [Howard], having said, 'Hey, Ron. Have you ever spent long winter evenings like I have wondering why you're not in the Star Wars franchise? And he'll say, 'give me a minute.' I came on set really quickly, and he whispered 'oligarch' in my ear, and I'm like 'got it!' It was just lovely to play somebody, having come from Avengers where Vision is fundamentally good, just somebody who is deliciously bad and really OK with it. No neurosis. No guilt. Just super-happy about being evil."
"He's really good at hurting people," Bettany continued, after a comment on how Dryden has a lot of fun throughout the film. "Some people are really good at piano or whatever, and you've got to practice."
Bettany stepped into the film when Ron Howard took over the directorial chair from Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The actor replaced The Wire alum Michael K. Williams, who was unavailable for reshoots. It is unclear what else changed in regards to the role.
Early reactions for Solo have been positive with particular praise falling on Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover’s performances as younger incarnations of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, respectively. The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson wrote his own review for the new Star Wars film complimenting the movie overall and declaring that Ehrenreich “brings his own charm and swagger to the character” rather than merely imitating Ford. There are currently no concrete plans for a sequel, though Ehrenreich has a three-film deal with Lucasfilm.
Directed by Ron Howard from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. They’re joined by Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge L3-37, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos, and Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett. The film opens May 25.