Bettany clearly intends to defer, during our interview, to the list of off-limits topics routinely supplied to
celebrities by Hollywood publicity professionals (he reads the checklist studiously, aloud, but in a lilting hum
rather than articulate syllables). Having to be judicious about what he says to strangers, though, doesn’t quite
chime with his innate candour.
Bettany, you see, is no closed book. He has talked openly about how, prompted by the horrors of 9/11, he proposed to
Jennifer Connelly, his co-star in A Beautiful Mind, on the phone from Tuscany before they’d ever dated. He
has shared pictures of their sons, Kai (Connelly’s son with photographer David Dugan) and Stellan, at the graduation
of the latter (who is named after Bettany’s friend Stellan Skarsgård, the Swedish actor). He’s talked about his
Oscar-winning wife’s love of playing Twister in her pyjamas, and how the family like to turn their cellar into a
roller-disco. He’s even shared his reflections on “a thousand years of therapy”.
Bettany is here (or rather there) in South Carolina — happy to spend Halloween “sitting on the porch waiting for
alligators to eat golfers” instead of enduring the forced pageantry of Halloween in the family’s New York
neighbourhood — to film Harvest Moon, a bittersweet comedy he co-wrote with his close friend Dana Brown. It
is about a child’s poignant attempts to reunite his estranged parents during Covid lockdown. “It’s based partly on a
script I wrote about 20 years ago,” Bettany says, “but also on... ” Barely controllable mirth — something we’ll both
experience, frequently, during our exchange — forces him to pause. “... Well, Dana, a dear friend, recently had a
horrible divorce. He has two children. Finally they separated and then lockdown happened and they all had to move in
For the record, Bettany’s now wheezily uncontrollable laughter is tinged with sympathy for his creative partner’s
predicament. “So I said, ‘Let’s write this thing now’. Every night after we got Zoom schooling over with, and the
kids had gone to sleep, we would stay up till three o’clock in the morning writing this script about the nadir of
his life. He was really depressed, but I thought it was really funny, and so consequently a sort of dramedy
With special thanks to Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Stylist: Andrea Serrano
Grooming: Chandler West Najjar
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