Have you seen Avengers: Age of Ultron yet? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? I am happy to report that Age of Ultron is doing amazingly at the box office, grossing 191.27 million dollars, which puts it in second place behind The Avengers. Isn’t that fantastic? If you haven’t seen the movie yet, make sure you read our NO-spoilers review of Age of Ultron here. If you have missed any of our previous interviews with the actors, the director or the producer, you can catch them here: Chris Evans & Chris Hemsworth, newcomers: Elizabeth Olsen & Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jeremy Renner & Cobie Smulders, director: Joss Whedom, and finally, Marvel president & producer: Kevin Feige. Today, I want to share with you our Exclusive Interview with James Spader (Ultron) and Paul Bettany (Vision).
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, let me give you a short summary on Ultron. James Spader voices & plays Ultron, Ultron is a Tony Spark’s peace keeping program that goes haywire and becomes a treat to humanity. If you are wondering if James Spader had to be convinced to play this role, this is what he had to say about it:
I have three sons. I have never in my entire career ever chosen a film to work on for the sake of my children. And most of the films that I’ve done really shouldn’t be watch by them. My second son was about 18 at the time and he loved comics and loved superhero movies and fantasy and all that stuff. He just loved it. And then by circumstance I also at the time I had a three-year-old son, again, and he was already sort of raiding his brother’s little figures and little things like that and was excited about it. And I just thought, I just want to make a film for them, you know? So I went in and I sat down with Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham and they had reached out to my agent and said, “You know, we’d love to sit down with James.”And, you know, those sort of meetings are always just so brutal and fruitless. I had said, “Really?” But, I mean, do they and then my agent said, “Kevin doesn’t really meet with anybody unless there really is a genuine interest. And I said, “Great. Well then I’d love to talk to him.” So I sat down with him and I said, “I just would love to do one of these things and just be such fun.” And I told him the reasons why and I think he really responded to that ’cause that’s his fan base, you know? So, we were sort of looking for something and I was sort of thing. About two or three years after that meeting, Joss Whedon walked into their offices and said, “You know, I don’t really have anyone else for this role except for James Spader.” And they said, “Well, funny you should mention that ’cause we’ve been trying to find the right thing. And so the next thing was a phone call from Joss.
And as they say in the movies, the rest is history! 🙂
If you are a fan of James Spader fan, you are well aware that he has played and plays “bad” guys role and as I said before, the part of Ultron is no different. This is what James had to say about bad buys, we love to hate and his mannerisms coming through via Ultron’s humor in the movie.
I’m a great believer in chaos. I think that’s true in any film or television show or play, anything you do. I think that if the casting works, you’ve been cast because that director intuitively knows what they need, you’re going to be able to provide. And he was specifically looking for that. He was looking for that sense of humor. And he was looking for that irreverence in marriage with the other aspects. So, he took advantage of it and we would play with things and I’d make a suggestion. But I really was very faithful to what he was writing because he was really writing it so specifically to me. I think the reason why he probably walked in to Kevin Feige and said, “James Spader’s who I’m thinking about for this and I don’t really have anyone else on the list,” is ’cause I think he probably, he’d already written to that.
If you are wondering how the CGI team got all of James characteristic to come through in the film, James shed some light by stating this:
I had multiple sessions doing additional dialog recording. However, most of the dialog that you hear in the movie and most of what you’re looking at, we shot on the set just in a fairly conventional fashion. It didn’t feel conventional at the time, considering everything I was in, but to be able to film it. The dialog was all from what we shot on the set doing scenes with the other actors as you would in any film or in any setting.
I was amazed that I saw this magnificent body made out of vibranium and all the rest of it, this sort of technological wonder. To actually see my 55-year-old sort of very comfy physique and to see all of my sort of gesture and posture and movements and expression and all of it was there. And then my son did see the film a couple of days ago.
And I said, “But how about the face?” And he says, “You know, I see you in the face.” He said, “Amazingly enough, considering it doesn’t really have a nose.” And he said, “I really saw your eyes and your expression and certainly head movements, everything. I saw it all there. So, it was worth it, I guess, to go through all of the arduous process of motion capture. Which is fascinating actually.
The very first day that I walked onto the studio lot, before I ever hit a set or anything, within a half hour, I walked into a room and they had cameras set up around the room in different, the room was a big empty room and there were cameras set up around and there was a bunch of guys with a whole bunch of laptops and women all sitting around. They put me in a fractal suit which is just a sort of two piece. Looks like you’re gonna go for a run, but has shapes and colors and things and all over it. And then they dotted up my face and they put a big rig on my back and a big headgear rig that had two sort of antenna that come down that are cameras that are right here with headlights.
They had me go through a range of motions and fingers, everything, head turns and all the rest of it. They put it into some program on the computer or something and I stood around for about ten and fifteen minutes later, I could walk in my outfit into the center of the room and turn my head, move my fingers and I could look at a monitor and see a sort of formative stage of Ultron doing everything I was doing.
Right from the very first moment I arrived there, I could see how the physicality would be appropriate for that eight foot robot. And there was a guy there, quite small, who would’ve been proportionate to my height. I’m five-ten. He was very small. Sort of proportionate height to what average height Avenger might be, in proportion to me, if I was eight feet tall. He was wearing a fractal suit, he was a stunt guy, and all the gear as well and they made him do the range of motion and everything else and within 15 minutes he and I would go move around the room and he was a different character. I was able to see right away an eight foot Ultron, as me, with another actor who’s a proportionate height to what an average size person would be. It was really amazing.
In the Avengers and Iron Man, Paul Bettany voiced Jarvis. In Age of Ultron, Paul plays The Vision, What was Paul’s reaction when you found out playing The Vision?
Well, it was sort of vindication really because I had done, I had just come out of a meeting with a producer who told me my career was over. This is a true story… I sat on the curb in Hollywood with my feet in the gutter and my phone went and I looked at it and went, “Hello?” I didn’t recognize the number and it was Joss Whedon. He said, “Do you want to play The Vision?” And I went, “Um,” it’s so quick these days, “yeah, I kinda do.
I couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role, personally, I am glad that Joss Whedom also saw Paul as an amazing actor to play The Vision.
Since, Paul had previously recorded the voice of Jarvis, how was it different was it this time around be on set as The Vision? and how much of Vision was makeup and CGI?
No, I was brought in at the last moment to solve any clarity issues the film had which was my superhero power as Jarvis. What was the difference? The difference was I had to go to the gym. Had to stop eating carbs. I finally got to be on set with a bunch of really lovely, creative, talented people. However, it also means that I have to show up at junkets now, you know? The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
It was a lot of makeup. It was sort of, I would sit in the chair and then you would wait for eternity to come and then you’d be done. So it was all, it’s all real. From about here forward the prosthetics, well the prosthetic actually stops here, and then this is was painted purple.
They would have tracking dots on so that they would then move the circuitry could be on my face and, um, and my musculature could move and, and you could still see me express things, ‘Cause we tried, um, having full prosthetics that went over everything and we lost a lot of expression, um, in the, in the face. So thankfully, because that was really, really uncomfortable.
Such an amazing opportunity to interview these two talented actors and to get their perspective of what went on behind the scenes. Stay tuned for next week as I will reveal spoilers from the movie and all the talent we were able to interview during the #AvengersEvent press junket. Until then, have an amazing day!
Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is in theaters NOW! Starting Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders with James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. For more information please visit the Avengers Facebook page.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Trailer #3
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Disclosure: I was provided with an all expense paid trip to L.A to facilitate the review of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, no additional compensation was received.