Paul Bettany was born into a theatre family. His father, Thane, is still an actor. His mother has retired from acting. He has an older sister who is a mother and a writer and he has a niece. His maternal grandmother, Olga Gwynne (her maiden and stage name), was a successful actress, while his maternal grandfather was a musician and promoter. He was brought up in North West London and after the age of 9 in Hertfordshire (Brookmans Park). Immediately after finishing at Drama Centre he went into the West End to join the cast of 'An Inspector Calls', though when asked to go on tour with this play he chose to stay in England.