See Marvel’s Paul Bettany Look Completely Unrecognizable As Andy Warhol In Latest Project

By Shawn Paul Wood | 3 months ago

paul bettany

To most wonderful people who read GFR, Paul Bettany is Vision, and he’s fantastic. However, if you want a real vision that will make you dizzy for a few days, take a look at Bettany now as he stars in the London stage production The Collaboration. He’s almost unrecognizable. The play is centered on two of the most interesting minds of the late 20th century—Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. And if you know anything about the laconic Warhol, you will know Bettany at least looks like his doppelganger.

Even the uncertain and frequently befuddled stare prevalent in pictures of the enigmatic advertising illustrator is plastered on Bettany’s face. That is probably why many Gen-Xers reading this wish they could hop a 747 to Heathrow Airport to see the play. Opposite Paul Bettany’s Warhol is Jeremy Pope’s (Choir Boy, Hollywood) Basquiat. In the 1980s, both Warhol and Basquiat were pioneers in culminating the pop art movement that began in the United Kingdom during the late 1950s.

Though a cluster of painted soup cans from 1962 is possibly Warhol’s pinnacle of pop-culture references, he was fantastically talented at doing so much more. And when he wasn’t looking like Where’s Waldo in the middle of Times Square, he also had a considerable amount of swag, as Paul Bettany shows in another Instagram post.

Brooklyn’s Jean-Michel Basquiat was considered a hero to aspiring street artists. He inspired thousands of writers (graffiti artists) under the name “SAMO” across the five boroughs of New York. Warhol’s art gave Campbell’s Soup a considerable amount of free publicity. However, Basquiat determined to give people the pub. His signature was a crown motif because he believed—and was determined to illustrate—that Black people were royalty or even saints.

If that rings a bell for some reason, think back to Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. Remember Cottonmouth’s office upstairs in Harlem’s Paradise? There is a famed image of The Notorious BIG that was celebrated. And, with a keen eye and superb direction by Cheo Hodari Coker, it gave the impression that Cottonmouth Stokes (Mahershala Ali) was the “king of Harlem.” In Season 2, we had two villains in Shades (Theo Rossi) and Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard). The image was replaced with two crowns. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting and the neo-expressionist masterpiece inspired the Biggie Smalls print.

It was in the 1980s when the two pop culture icons intersected. Warhol’s star was not as shiny as it used to be in 1962 when he painted soup, and Basquiat’s star was on the rise and becoming a supernova as his paintings were earning extensive checks from more prominent names. In London’s Young Vic theater, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope come together at that intersection. Anthony McCarten, who helped write Bohemian Rhapsody, put his pen to paper for this production, as actor, writer, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah is directing The Collaboration, much to the delight of fans and critics.

The Collaboration seeks to shine a light upon the creative partnership—and later, meaningful friendship—between Warhol and Basquiat and their joint art show. If Paul Bettany acts as Andy Warhol as he looks like him, this production should be magnificent.