Paul Bettany Burns Jason Statham for Criticizing 'Avengers'

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Jason Statham thinks the Avengers actors can’t really fight, but that didn’t stop Paul Bettany from taking a few jabs at him. During an appearance on Conan last night, the actor — who voiced the computer Jarvis in multiple Marvel films, and made his debut as new hero Vision in The Avengers: Age of Ultron — offered a withering response to Statham’s comment that the CG-enhanced battles in superhero films aren’t “authentic,” and that he prefers “old, real stars… that can really do their thing.” Watch Bettany’s retort above.

“He’s brilliant at what he does,” Bettany told host Conan O’Brien of Statham, who is known for performing his own stunts. “I couldn’t do it. And it’s true, I try to do as many of the stunts as I can myself, but there are times when it’s too dangerous or too tricky.”

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Then Bettany went in for the kill. “Potentially, [Jason Statham] should maybe think about investing in an acting double,” he quipped. “I’m just saying, I would never talk s— about somebody else’s work, but I read the contract, they employed me as an actor, there’s obviously stuntmen in the world, you’ve met them, you see them, they’re very good at what they do. So let them do it.

“But if there’s a really, really tricky scene with some very tricky dialogue,” he continued, “one might consider bringing in an acting double for Jason Statham.” Ouch.

Statham shared his negative opinion of the fight scenes in Marvel comics films while promoting Spy this summer. “I could take my grandma and put her in a cape, and they’ll put her on a green screen, and they’ll have stunt doubles come in and do all the action,” he complained. “Anybody can do it.”

Of course, Statham himself is no stranger to big-budget, CG-enhanced franchise films, having appeared in this year’s blockbuster Furious 7 — though in fairness, Statham probably did his own fighting with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, whereas Vin Diesel definitely didn’t drive a car out of an airplane. But Statham’s comments certainly got the Avengers stars riled up. This summer, Mark Ruffalo told Vulture that he was confident he could take Statham down.

“He’s like a featherweight. He’s got nothing on me! Clearly,” the Hulk actor joked.

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Image credit: Marvel

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