“You can't join in the sort of COVID pandemic banana bread-eating phantasmagoria," the Disney+ star said

By Julie Mazziotta
March 04, 2021 12:11 PM
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WandaVision
Paul Bettany in WandaVision
| Credit: Disney+

Paul Bettany's ears may be digitally removed to complete his character's android look in WandaVision, but that ripped physique is all real.

On Disney+'s hit spinoff series, Bettany reprises his Avengers role as the superhero Vision, and he had to stay in serious shape to wear the tight-fitting suit. His ability to look that good — at age 49 — led to some jealousy from late-night host Stephen Colbert, which he expressed to Bettany during his Wednesday appearance on The Late Show.

"I have to know, as someone who's in his 50s and you're about to be 50: Is that really your chest, or is that digital wizardry?" Colbert asked.

"These are very good questions. I'm going to get very specific with you right now. About 42 inches of it is my chest. About eight inches just isn't," Bettany explains. "But it's not digital. It's a suit that, you know, you wear. They give you a muscle suit."

Colbert was relieved to hear that Vision's impressive chest muscles aren't entirely Bettany's, but the actor pointed out that he put in some serious self-restraint to fit into the suit.

Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany
| Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

"The interesting thing is what you discover, is that you can't join in the sort of COVID pandemic banana bread-eating phantasmagoria," he said. "Because when you wear the muscle suit, and you have a banana bread belly, it's very obvious. The jig's up."

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Colbert, though, thinks that Disney could have removed a banana bread belly with the same digital technology they used to remove Bettany's ears.

"Maybe they can! I mean, for god's sake, Mark Ruffalo — you couldn't pull him away from the craft service table," Bettany joked of his Avengers costar.

WandaVision
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in WandaVision
| Credit: Disney+

Bettany previously told PEOPLE that fitting into his WandaVision suit was on his mind all pandemic, especially in the early days when he was staying at home in New York City with wife Jennifer Connelly, 50, and their three kids, sons Kai, 23, and Stellan, 17, and daughter Agnes, 9.

"I kept thinking that I was going back, and so I had to kind of stay in shape," he said. "So while the rest of the world seemed to be eating banana bread and making their own sourdough starters, I was having to resist it."

That was tough, he joked: "C'mon, I'm an old man; I just want to eat cheese and sit in a chair and read a book!"