[movieperson id="201078"]Paul Bettany[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="12899"]Jennifer Connelly[/movieperson] met and fell in love on the set of the 2001 Oscar-winning drama [movie id="208757"]"A Beautiful Mind."[/movie] For almost the rest of the decade, they managed to avoid working together. It wasn't for lack of trying.
The two actors tried to line up an adaptation of Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning "American Pastoral" in 2004, in which they were to play a married couple torn apart by violence, but the project never took off. It wasn't until late 2008 that Bettany and Connelly reunited on camera. Again, they chose to portray a couple struggling to keep their relationship together, this time in the Charles Darwin biopic [movie id="418005"]"Creation"[/movie] (out January 22).
"It seemed like the kind of thing we could do together where our marriage and our personal life — whatever people might know about us — wouldn't influence the story," Connelly told MTV News. "I felt like the circumstances of their lives were far enough away from the circumstances of our lives. And also, there was that bit of conflict in the relationship that I think if it's too sappy, who wants to see that? You want to see a little bit going wrong."
"Creation" tells the story of Darwin (Bettany) as he struggles to finish his seminal work on evolution, "On the Origin of Species," which threatens to send shockwaves through the Christian world. His wife Emma (Connelly) happens to be a devoutly religious woman. It's a film about the ways in which work can come between two people in love. Both Bettany and Connelly, though, maintain they've been able to prevent their Hollywood existence from negatively impacting their personal life.
"I've got a job that doesn't actually have a job attached to it, which is pretty great," Bettany said. "We finished this movie and took eight months off. Now that's a real privilege, and I'm aware of it. Most people with actual jobs, it's much more difficult for them to see their husbands and partners and children. For us, it's much easier."
Or, as Connelly put it, "The Darwins had a fundamental philosophical conflict, an ideological crisis. Our biggest problem is working out the logistics of travel."
So what was it like being back on set together now that they're married? Strictly professional. As Connelly struggled to learn an English accent for the role, the British-born Bettany declined to pitch in with any suggestions. Battling nerves, she probably could've used one or two.
"An English accent — I've never done that before!" she said. "That was like the scariest thing I've ever done. I got to London, and two days later, there was a table read — this ghastly ordeal that they torture us with — and everyone else in the movie are really accomplished English actors. And I was there, this sort of American imposter. It was so terrifying."
"My accent is a much more modern London accent, and she wouldn't have wanted to sound like me," Bettany responded in his own defense. "And the day I give my wife advice on acting," he added with a nervous laugh, "it's just never going to happen!"
Check out everything we've got on "Creation."
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