Paul Bettany

Paul Bettany

Paul Bettany returns to the big screen this week as Charles Darwin in biopic movie Creation, that is already causing some awards season chatter.

Creation follows Darwin as he developed his Origin of the Species theory, which went against everything his religious wife believed.

And it's been a busy eighteen months or so for the actor with movies such as Inkheart, The Secret Life of Bees and The Young Victoria under his belt.

So here at FemaleFirst we take a look at some of the essential movies that any Paul Bettany fan should have seen.

- Gangster No. 1

Released in 2000 Gangster No. 1 brought together a great British cast of Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and really introduced Bettany to audiences.

When a young gangster (Paul Bettany) starts working for gang leader Freddie Mays (David Thewlis), known as the Butcher of Mayfair, he dreams of being everything that Freddie is: smooth, sophisticated, impeccably dressed, always with the right women, and driving the fanciest cars. Freddie takes the young gangster under his wing as a potential war with a rival gang starts to heat up.

After Freddie falls for Karen (Saffron Burrows), whom 55 had his eye on, the young gangster lies in wait for an opportunity to change things, and when that moment comes, he leaves a bloodbath of betrayal in his wake.

Bettany was a revelation and he had finally arrived on the acting scene.

- A Knight's Tale

A year later Bettany was back as Geoffrey Chaucer in the action adventure movie A Knight's Tale, which also brought Heath Ledger to out attention.

William Thatcher (Ledger), a poor and humble squire, has always dreamed of proving himself worthy as a knight. When he gets a lucky chance, seeing an opportunity to disguise himself in the identity of a knight, William decides to maintain the illusion for as long as possible.

He is aided by his friends Wat, Roland, and Geoffrey Chaucer, a writer with a knack for forging official papers.

Under his new title, Sir Ulrich of Liechtenstein, William wins tournaments and receives monetary awards.

However, the only way for William to prove himself as truly noble is to beat out all of his enemies, including the arrogant and undefeated Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), in a series of jousts. Once he does so, William will reveal his true identity

Despite being a box office flop Bettany picked up the don Film Critics' Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year.

He was also nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer.

- A Beautiful Mind

But it was A Beautiful Mind that really brought him to prominence in 2001 when he starred alongside Russell Crowe.

Based on the life of John Forbes Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics Bettany took on the role of Charles Herman, Nash's cheerful, supportive roommate and best friend throughout graduate college.

The film begins with Nash (Crowe) at Princeton, where he struggles to think of an original idea, and the stroke of genius that will make him matter. Nash is eccentric, socially awkward, and extremely competitive.

Eventually, he finds the inspiration for his innovative and influential work on game theory. He's chosen for a post at MIT, which includes crucial code-breaking work for the US government.

There, he meets a beautiful and brilliant student, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly). They marry but their happiness is threatened, as Nash, belatedly diagnosed as schizophrenic, descends into madness.

The film was a huge critical hit and went on to win the Best Picture Oscar. For his performance Bettany was nominated for the London Film Critics' Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year.

- Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World

Bettany teamed up with Crowe for a second time in 2003 for Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was directed by Peter Weir.

Based on a series of books by Patrick O'Brian the film is set during the Napoleonic Wars, Lucky Jack Aubrey captains the crew of his H.M.S. Surprise. When the ship is suddenly attacked by a superior enemy, it is badly damaged and much of his crew is injured.

In a bold and dangerous move, Aubrey decides to set sail in a high stakes chase across two oceans to intercept and capture their foe. It's a mission that can decide the fate of a nation, or destroy Lucky Jack and his crew.

The partnership brought another critically acclaimed movie and it was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture.

More awards success came Bettany's way as he picked up the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor and the London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actor of the Year.

He was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the BFCA Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor.

- The Da Vinci Code

However the actor's most financially successful movie came in 2006 when he took on the role of Silas in the big screen adaptation of The Da Vinci Code.

Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon is called to the Louvre museum one night where a curator has been murdered, leaving behind a mysterious trail of symbols and clues.

With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years.

The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London and Scotland, collecting clues as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundations of mankind.

Despite mixed review from the critics it was a huge box office success going on to gross over $728 million at the global box office, one of the biggest hits of the year.

And the actor has got a busy few months ahead of him with Legion in post production and he provided the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man 2.

His next project is Priest, vampire-western film in which Bettany plays warrior priest who is battling against the vampires that kidnapped his nice.

Creation is released 25th September.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

Paul Bettany returns to the big screen this week as Charles Darwin in biopic movie Creation, that is already causing some awards season chatter.

Creation follows Darwin as he developed his Origin of the Species theory, which went against everything his religious wife believed.

And it's been a busy eighteen months or so for the actor with movies such as Inkheart, The Secret Life of Bees and The Young Victoria under his belt.

So here at FemaleFirst we take a look at some of the essential movies that any Paul Bettany fan should have seen.

- Gangster No. 1

Released in 2000 Gangster No. 1 brought together a great British cast of Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis and really introduced Bettany to audiences.

When a young gangster (Paul Bettany) starts working for gang leader Freddie Mays (David Thewlis), known as the Butcher of Mayfair, he dreams of being everything that Freddie is: smooth, sophisticated, impeccably dressed, always with the right women, and driving the fanciest cars. Freddie takes the young gangster under his wing as a potential war with a rival gang starts to heat up.

After Freddie falls for Karen (Saffron Burrows), whom 55 had his eye on, the young gangster lies in wait for an opportunity to change things, and when that moment comes, he leaves a bloodbath of betrayal in his wake.

Bettany was a revelation and he had finally arrived on the acting scene.

- A Knight's Tale

A year later Bettany was back as Geoffrey Chaucer in the action adventure movie A Knight's Tale, which also brought Heath Ledger to out attention.

William Thatcher (Ledger), a poor and humble squire, has always dreamed of proving himself worthy as a knight. When he gets a lucky chance, seeing an opportunity to disguise himself in the identity of a knight, William decides to maintain the illusion for as long as possible.

He is aided by his friends Wat, Roland, and Geoffrey Chaucer, a writer with a knack for forging official papers.

Under his new title, Sir Ulrich of Liechtenstein, William wins tournaments and receives monetary awards.

However, the only way for William to prove himself as truly noble is to beat out all of his enemies, including the arrogant and undefeated Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), in a series of jousts. Once he does so, William will reveal his true identity

Despite being a box office flop Bettany picked up the don Film Critics' Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year.

He was also nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer.

- A Beautiful Mind

But it was A Beautiful Mind that really brought him to prominence in 2001 when he starred alongside Russell Crowe.

Based on the life of John Forbes Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics Bettany took on the role of Charles Herman, Nash's cheerful, supportive roommate and best friend throughout graduate college.

The film begins with Nash (Crowe) at Princeton, where he struggles to think of an original idea, and the stroke of genius that will make him matter. Nash is eccentric, socially awkward, and extremely competitive.

Eventually, he finds the inspiration for his innovative and influential work on game theory. He's chosen for a post at MIT, which includes crucial code-breaking work for the US government.

There, he meets a beautiful and brilliant student, Alicia (Jennifer Connelly). They marry but their happiness is threatened, as Nash, belatedly diagnosed as schizophrenic, descends into madness.

The film was a huge critical hit and went on to win the Best Picture Oscar. For his performance Bettany was nominated for the London Film Critics' Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year.

- Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World

Bettany teamed up with Crowe for a second time in 2003 for Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was directed by Peter Weir.

Based on a series of books by Patrick O'Brian the film is set during the Napoleonic Wars, Lucky Jack Aubrey captains the crew of his H.M.S. Surprise. When the ship is suddenly attacked by a superior enemy, it is badly damaged and much of his crew is injured.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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