February 7, 2023
From Vision to Dryden Vos | The Contrasting Roles of Paul Bettany

Whether as Vision or Dryden Vos he steals the show

Several years ago Paul Bettany’s role in blockbuster stardom was assigned to the simple task of voicing of a robot. It was a small role that didn’t seem that important but in actuality, Paul Bettany’s role as J.A.R.V.I.S was just as monumental as Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man. Both actors have been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008 but it wasn’t until 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron that Paul Bettany made his physical debut as Vision.

From Vision to Dryden Vos | The Contrasting Roles of Paul Bettany

Since then my recognition of Mr Bettany has grown exponentially and with him joining my favorite franchise of all time, Star Wars, his awesome status has only grown even more. So, to celebrate such a wonderful actor, this post takes a look at the elements that differentiate his roles in the MCU and Star Wars.

Contrasting Styles

In the MCU Paul Bettany didn’t arrive as your average hero. Instead, he played the role of a robot with a conscious so extraordinary that he was basically human. But this wasn’t just any android. He was crafted of vibranium and human cells which provided him with a red and silver form that instantly made him stand out among his fellow Avengers. Vision is a unique character that Paul Bettany brought to life in an exciting way.

Dryden Vos

And then in Solo: A Star Wars Story he debuted as the villainous gangster, Dryden Vos. Here we have a version of a character that is very much a human but there is still a sort of alien aspect about Vos. His face is lined with scars that change color depending on his mood which makes one wonder whether he is entirely human or not. And his one-shouldered cape and elegant wear provide him with a debonair vibe that one can’t help but admire.

While these characters’ styles are mostly different there is a single fact that is clear; Paul Bettany looks great in capes.

Differing Personalities

This is where my admiration of Paul Bettany really grows because it’s difficult to change roles so easily. I had never seen Paul Bettany in any other role except for Vision so when I thought of his acting range I couldn’t imagine him playing anyone else. And Vision is such a nice character as well. He’s compassionate, thoughtful, and he cares about people. Dryden Vos couldn’t be more different.


I honestly was worried about him playing a Star Wars villain because I didn’t think he could be intimidating enough. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He played Dryden with such an intensity I was utterly blown away. Don’t let the handsome exterior fool you. He was just as vile, harsh, and cruel as Jabba the Hutt, which was a huge surprise for me.

In fact, his scenes stole the show for me in Solo. Whenever he was onscreen I couldn’t take my eyes from him. His viciousness was chilling to behold and he quickly became one of my favorite Star Wars villains.

From a Hero to a Villain

In the MCU Paul Bettany’s Vision was an Avenger; a character determined to save lives and rid the world of those with harmful intentions.

In Star Wars he played a character that was the exact opposite. Dryden Vos never thought of saving lives. In fact, he took lives if they annoyed him or didn’t meet his criminal standards. His reputation as a cold killer was renown and it’s what made him such a feared gangster.

Vision and Dryden Vos Were Killed By Women They Loved

And the final point I’d like to make that distinguishes the contrasting but similar roles of these two characters are their relations with the women in their lives. For Vision, he fell in love with fellow Avenger, Wanda Maximoff. They spent a good couple of years together before Thanos arrived and changed everything. In order to save the universe, Wanda was forced to destroy the Mind Stone lodged in his forehead, thus killing him. It was an unfortunate ending to his storyline but one that was necessary for the movie.

From Vision to Dryden Vos | The Contrasting Roles of Paul Bettany

In Solo, we are given a deep hint at Dryden and Qi’ra‘s relationship. Even though their time together is brief it is clear that Dryden has strong feelings of affection for Qi’ra. To him, she is the only person that he can truly trust and that turns out to be his downfall. Qi’ra would end up killing him, not with love, but with a long-awaited vengeance.

While both Vision and Dryden perished at the hands of a woman they cared about it was under completely opposite circumstances.


Several years ago I might not have known Paul Bettany’s name but after seeing him appear in these outstanding roles in two of my favorite franchises I can’t help but admire his incredible acting talent. Whether he’s Vision or Dryden Vos he stole the show and that’s the mark of a memorable actor.


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