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Paul Bettany Battled Baboons Eating Snickers Bars In Africa

British Actor Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Da Vinci Code) appeared on the now defunct Bonnie Hunt daytime talk show to promote his appearance in Legion.   His hair was very short and platinum blonde.  He was wearing a dark sweater with a lighter shirt underneath.

Disappearing Into His Roles

Bonnie told Paul she was a" huge fan of his work" and he's a "great actor" because he's "one of those actors that disappear into their parts".   Paul was flattered and said "well maybe in front of the camera, but I never take it home with me."  He noted "you don't want to take these characters (and he plays some pretty scary guys) home to your children."

Paul told Bonnie his two boys are current 12 and 6.  His role as a dad?  "Its just the best thing in my life.  It's changed me in ways I could never have imagined.  And I think they, and my wife, have really saved me."

He teased "married men apparently live longer."  Laughing he noted "I was going downhill fast."  He also teased about his "plain looking wife" which couldn't be further from the truth since Jennifer Connelly is absolutely stunning.

Paul said he had great respect for his wife and that she is the greatest actress working but of course he's prejudiced.  Paul and Jennifer have done A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Creation (2009) together.

The couple enjoyed talking about "the next's days work" during their filming of Creation. When asked how he selects his roles which are so diverse Paul said "I'm very shallow so I often do the exact opposite of what I've recently down."  If he's playing the hero in one film he thinks to himself that he should play the villain in the next movie he shoots.

Why did he do Legion?  I did "Legion" so I could shoot a big gun and channel Jackie Chan. I wouldn't lie to you. I don't like real guns, but the fake firearms are fantastic. My machine gun was huge and made a lot noise, but it didn't hurt anybody. I'm usually the bad guy in movies like this, so I got a kick out of being the hero.

Taking The Kids On Location

Paul told Bonnie Hunt that he and his wife take their two kids on movie locations and often the trip can last for several months so that it's actually like living someone new, not just visiting.  He noted they live there "for an amount of time that feels like living, it's not a vacation."

At one point they were living in Africa for four months and went on Safari and had incredible experiences.  He said at one point they were on a Safari in a huge national park in Africa and were staying at a gorgeous hotel right in the park.

The Baboon With The Snickers Bar

Paul said they (he and his family) had been warned (by the hotel staff) to keep the balcony doors of the hotel rooms shut and locked because of baboons that try to get in.

At one point he went back to his room to pick up some clothes for his kids and "there was this big ass baboon sitting there (in the hotel room) and staring at me and eating a Snickers bar.  Because he had torn off the door to the mini-bar."  He teased he told the front desk about the baboon to avoid paying for mini bar treats.  He also teased they had rented movies.

On a more serious note he reported the baboon, which has "huge" teeth (lions are the only animal with bigger teeth) had drank all the booze in the mini bar, in the little bottles.   The Snickers eating baboon was one of three baboons in the room.  One "pooped on my bed" and one was "swinging from the chandelier."

He said he reacted in a way that was "very British" and he said "shoo, shoo to this thing" that was eating the Snickers.  And he said he was told 'you've got to run at them, you know.' And "I just ran away like a girl, screaming.  I did.  I'll be honest."

Fight Over Leaving The Door Open

Paul reported that the scary encounter with the baboon was just one part of the experience.  He noted he and his wife had an argument about who left the door open and unlocked.  To this day he claims it was her who did it, but she said he did it.  At any rate he went to apologize for his wife leaving the door unlocked.  He told the guy "I'm so sorry for my wife who did that."

He said the hotel told him "don't worry we have a very organized group of baboons" and he teased about the baboons having radios and planning the assault on his hotel room and his mini bar.  Paul said that was completely "unembellished" and he is "telling the truth" that there were three baboons in his room.

Paul said "it was really terrifying" and he was definitely scared although in retrospect it was a hilarious encounter.

The Orangutan In Creation

In Creation he worked with an orangutan which was "beautiful"  He said they went and filmed with this "baby orangutan".  He said the orangutan who "sadly had died, was very moving in the film" and he had such a "visceral connection with this little creature".

Paul said "I went to film with her and she just made things up. We'd planned but she played the harmonica and started doing drawings in his book.  And you felt such a visceral connection with this little creature.  It was beautiful.  They purposely kept them apart so that when they met she was intriqued by me."

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