Inside Jennifer Connelly's Relationship With Paul Bettany

Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany have over 10 years of marriage under their belts, which makes them a bit of an anomaly in Hollywood. Though they both hail from different continents — Connelly was born in New York and Bettany in London — they've made their marriage work. Connelly told Town & Country that part of their strength as a couple comes from their different dispositions, noting that her husband is infinitely more engaged with people and comfortable in any room than she is: "I'm more reserved. I can be kind of shy in a group. I mean, I manage it pretty well, but he's much more outgoing than I am."

Of course, anyone who is in a happy long-term relationship knows there's more to it than who likes to talk and who doesn't. Connelly and Bettany share three children together — Connelly's oldest son, Kai, from a previous relationship, and the two's biological children, Stellan and Agnes, per PopSugar. They have also supported one another through both challenging times in their personal lives and successful times in their careers. 

Here's a peek into how these two have made their marriage work, and what we can expect from them down the road.

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly met on the set of this movie

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly met several years before they ever entered a relationship. The two were both cast in 2001's "A Beautiful Mind," for which Jennifer Connelly won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2002, but they were each in relationships with other people at the time and, as Connelly explained to the Evening Standard, knew better than to get involved in anything on set. She said, "We've both had enough on-set relationships to know that they don't work and you need to walk away from them."

Instead, the two did things the old-fashioned way: They talked. They had conversations on the phone, and they each later told Entertainment Tonight that they were drawn to each other the first day they met. Connelly explained, "I thought, 'Hmm, he's really good, that guy." Bettany, however, was much more direct, noting that he thought, "I've never been this close to someone that beautiful before."

Fate soon stepped in, and the pair reconnected at the 2002 BAFTA Awards and quickly began a relationship.

Jennifer Connelly is Paul Bettany's Hollywood crush

Paul Bettany reportedly always had a thing for Jennifer Connelly. As the The Sun explained, it makes sense — though the pair are around the same age, Connelly began acting at the age of 13 when she was cast in "Once Upon a Time in America." Three years later, starring opposite David Bowie in "Labyrinth" put her on the map in a major way, and Bettany (along with countless others) couldn't help but notice her. 

However he felt about his faraway movie star love, Bettany still had to wait things out for 14 more years. Luckily for him, once things began moving forward with Connelly, they definitely did so at a rapid pace. The Guardian noted that the pair reconnected in 2002 and got married in 2003. It's almost as if he'd been waiting to meet Jennifer Connelly for most of his life ... or at least since he was around the age of 15.

This is what inspired Paul Bettany to propose to Jennifer Connelly before they went on a date

Paul Bettany has been open about his immediate feelings for Jennifer Connelly, and it turns out that he finally admitted them to her with a sense of urgency in 2001. His admission was motivated in part by the attacks on September 11, 2001. Bettany told Larry King that he felt an overwhelming need to get in touch with Connelly, even though the two weren't official. So he spent two days calling and calling in an attempt to get her on the phone, and when he did, he had what might have been a surprising proposal (literally).

His phone calls were motivated by a realization. "I realized I was in love. So I finally got her on the phone and said, 'I'm coming over, and let's get married.' And that's really what happened. We had never dated." Bettany added that he then flew from the United Kingdom to New York, and the rest is more or less history.

Paul Bettany sees his life with Jennifer Connelly as a 'huge gift'

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly are a fairly private couple these days, but some sources have implied that there might be more to Bettany than meets the eye. In fact, his name came up numerous times while Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were battling it out in court in 2020, with reports suggesting that Bettany had, at one point, done drugs with Depp, according to The Sun.

It turns out that Bettany used to do drugs, as he told The Guardian, after experiencing a particularly tragic event. His 8-year-old brother Matthew died when Bettany was only 16, and the future Marvel star has explained that he turned to cocaine to cope, according to The Sun.

Bettany has said that he is anxious about his own children. He explained to The Guardian that his brother's death made him a "neurotic parent," but that life with his family also helps him realize "there is a huge gift to come from it as well in that, yes, life is fragile — and, yes, we are in a precarious situation — but it is also spectacularly precious." According to The Sun, when problems pop up, he's said, "My instinct is to talk about it, but I've found cuddles and saying, 'I know, it's awful' are a better way to go."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The pair got married in Scotland in 2003

Once Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly decided to make things official, they went all the way. They haven't spoken too much about their wedding day, but Connelly once shared with the Evening Standard that she and Bettany are both "old-fashioned." She noted that they both agreed on the type of wedding they wanted. She explained, "We went to Scotland and married in a house we hired near Edinburgh, with about 10 people. It was a rainy Scottish winter."

Connelly also marveled at the fact that, despite being someone who had previously been cautious about marriage — the publication noted that she was engaged to ex-boyfriend Bill Campbell for five years as she waffled back and forth on whether or not to tie the knot — it's amazing that her life with Bettany progressed as rapidly as it did. "After all my caution about marriage, I was proposed to, married and had a child in the space of a year," she said. "I had never been happier in my personal life and I felt things had finally clicked.'"

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly share three children

Jennifer Connelly gave birth to her oldest son, Kai, in 1997. His father is photographer David Dugan, and Connelly reportedly has dinner with Kai and Dugan once a week, according to Hello! magazine. When she met Paul Bettany, she was clearly already a mom, and from the looks of things, Bettany slid into the role of stepfather with a tremendous amount of ease. Bettany has referred to Kai as his son as well, as noted by E!, which shows how much he loves and cares for him.

Connelly and Bettany also have two biological children named Stellan and Agnes. In 2012, Bettany told Anderson Cooper that all three kids are incredible: "They're all such extraordinary kids. And they're great together. They never fight. They look after each other. They're loving."

While it's clear the family of five love one another, Connelly did share a funny story about Agnes while appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in 2015, as E! noted. After explaining that Bettany had been trying to get Agnes excited about his role as Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Connelly revealed that Agnes thought it was cool ... but not as cool as her dad's co-stars. "She's like, 'Yeah, that's cool but I love Iron Man.' He's like, 'No, but I'm The Vision!' She's like, 'Yeah, I love Iron Man.'" Bettany himself later confirmed the story while speaking to Conan O'Brien.

The two have worked together on more than one film

Many people know that Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany met while filming "A Beautiful Mind" together, but it turns out the pair have collaborated on more than one project. In 2009, they both starred in the Charles Darwin story "Creation," though Connelly later told The Guardian that co-starring in the movie wasn't the original plan.

Connelly shared that Bettany was already cast in the role of Charles Darwin when the producers came around and asked if she would be interested in playing his wife, Emma. While it could be stressful to work with someone you're married to — after all, if the work day is stressful, you might turn around and bring that stress home with you — Connelly said that the film was the type she thought they could pull off. "I did think that it was the sort of film that we could do together, and we had wanted to work together on something for some time," she said.

The pair decided to turn to others who have done the same and ask for guidance. In the end, the two decided that "it seemed like there was nothing about our personal pairing that could take away from the film" and went for it. The pair worked together yet again in 2015, when Bettany cast his wife in "Shelter," his directorial debut (via Vanity Fair).

Like a lot of families, they spent 2020 homeschooling and taking care of their kids

Like the rest of us, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany spent a lot of 2020 sheltering at place in home with their kids in Brooklyn, New York. Bettany told People that he was in the middle of production for his TV series "Wandavision," and had a pretty serious health and wellness schedule he had to follow in case he was called back to work quickly, which impacted his quarantine vibe. "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," he shared.

However, there was definitely one part of staying at home that Connelly and Bettany were enjoying (or not) like the rest of us: homeschooling their kids. He explained to People that homeschooling might not be his strongest skill. "I'm still quite an active dad, because I've got a 9-year-old. There's a lot of staring at a math problem, bewildered, and asking Jennifer to solve it for me."

Paul Bettany says his marriage 'saved' him

When it comes to husbands who love to wax poetic about their wives, Paul Bettany might be one of the best. reported that, while speaking to The BINGE Guide, Bettany explained that, of all the roles he's ever had, being a family man is the one that he ranks as the best. He even added that both Jennifer Connelly and the experience of raising their three children have played a crucial role in his life. "It's hard not to talk in platitudes about it," he said. "All I can tell you is that I think my children and my marriage saved me."

Bettany added that his wife and children helped him realize what really matters in life and what doesn't, and that they both are fully aware of the trappings of celebrity and just aren't tempted. "That other stuff [celebrity] doesn't really hold much interest for Jennifer or myself. We love working and acting but frankly, nowhere near as much as we love a peaceful, quiet life with our children," Bettany stated.