Paul Bettany in Priest

Paul Bettany in Priest

Priest may have been a movie that has been delayed and pushed back but finally Paul bettany fans have something to cheer about - it arrives on the big screen this week.

Bettany is one of the most versatile actors that is currently working in Hollywood today, and enjoying some major success along the way.

But he is not an actor who can be accused of sticking to a particular role mixing and matching his performances to result in having a large and varied body of work behind him.

Priest sees Bettany reunite with Legion filmmaker Scott Charles Stewart as he tracks down the vampires who have his niece.

To celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at Paul Bettany's varied filmography. He kicked off his career in TV with appearances in Sharpe's Waterloo and Killer Net but it wasn't long before the film world came knocking.

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

Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster.

The was a tough and gritty performance from Bettany, he was a revelation and he had finally arrived on the acting scene.

A Knight's Tale couldn't have been more different for the actor as he starred as Geoffrey Chaucer in the action adventure movie A Knight's Tale, which also brought Heath Ledger to our attention.

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.

The movie was not met well by the critics, but it is a good laugh if you want to just kick back and relax, however Bettany picked up the 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.

But it was A Beautiful Mind that really brought him to prominence in 2001 when he starred alongside Russell Crowe, the first of two movie with the Aussie actor.

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.

Despite his brilliant mind and competitive nature Nash begins to struggle with schizophrenia and his world descends into madness as he struggles to tell what is real.

With his performance as Charles Herman, who may not be all that he seems, Bettany cemented himself as a real talent, as well as truly catching the attention of the American film industry.

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 and Commander: The Far Side of the World saw Bettany team up with Crowe for a second time in 2003, directed by Peter Weir.

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 blockbuster called in 2006 as he took on the role of creepy monk Silas in the big screen adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard.

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.

After lending his voice to Iron Man as Jarvis it was a more serious role for Bettany at the end of last year as he starred in Creation as Charles Darwin.

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

We last saw Bettany on the big screen at the end of last year in the not so great The Tourist.

Priest is released 6th May.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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