Johnny Depp on MCU Star Paul Bettany in ‘Mortdecai’: ‘The Only Person Who Could Play Jock’

Today, Paul Bettany is well known for his leading role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He started as the voice of Tony Stark’s A.I, J.A.R.V.I.S, yet has since become Vision — a character with plotlines, turmoils, and dangers all his own. The stone in his mind brought about his demise in Avengers: Infinity War. 

Paul Bettany kissing Johnny Depp on the cheek, 'Transcendence' Press Conference
Paul Bettany and Johnny Depp at the ‘Transcendence’ Press Conference | Vera Anderson/WireImage

Paul Bettany can currently be seen playing Vision across from Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda in the Disney+ series WandaVision. While Bettany shows off his comedic chops in the show — in terms of quippy remarks and physical comedy — he wasn’t always seen as a comedic actor. Yet, back when Mortdecai was casting for Jock, Depp knew that Bettany needed to be the man in the role.

Paul Bettany plays Jock in ‘Mortdecai;’ Who is Jock? 

In Mortdecai, Paul Bettany plays Jock Strapp in the 2015 film Mortdecai. Though the film premiered to critical condemnation and failed at the box office, Bettany got to prove his comedy skills. The character’s name itself is a joke alluding to a particular male undergarment… 

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Jock is Mortdecai’s faithful manservant in the film, and he and Depp’s character (Mortdecai) have several humorous scenes together — several of which describe all the times Mortdecai accidentally shot his manservant. During an interview, posted by Movieclips Coming Soon, Depp discussed Bettany’s casting, explaining that he didn’t want anyone else in the role.

Johnny Depp talks about Marvel star Paul Bettany’s talents 

Depp talked about bringing the film to the screen with a talented ensemble. He noted that all characters — played by Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more — eventually collide in funny (or what is intended to be funny) ways. Speaking of Bettany specifically, Depp shared:

“Paul Bettany, who is truly one of the funniest human beings I’ve ever met and one of the smartest, was the only, from the time I read that screenplay…the only person who could play Jock in my eyes, properly… Bettany’s not known necessarily within the industry as a comedic actor even though he’s really funny. And, so, in Mortdecai, it’s a lot of Bettany in there that just cracks you up…just kills you.”

Movieclips Coming Soon

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Depp praised Bettany’s comedic prowess and his ability to take on the character appropriately. And though the film flopped, watching Bettany and Depp play off of each other is still quite amusing for fans of either or both actors.