And now we have Sir Ben Kingsley, the man that adds prestige to a Jerry Bruckheimer action film The Prince of Persia. There’s no doubt that there’s some good actors in this film, but Sir Ben reall ups the overall game and after talking to him he seemed to be happy to do so.
We had a chance to attend a video conference with Sir Ben while he was in London and find out a little bit more about how he had actually always wanted to be part of a Disney/Bruckheimer film and how he prepared for this role just like any other role. You can read some of the highlights of the interview or watch the entire video of the interview below…
Can you talk a little bit about your attraction to projects like Prince of Persia, Blood [Reign] and Thunderbirds that typically are slightly away from your usual repertoire of more realistic and often dramatic films?
Sir Ben Kingsley: I don’t think I’m doing anything a disservice but when you are asked by the king of, of family entertainment you, you can’t say no and you know that it’s going to be so refined, it’s going to be so targeted and it’s going to have a message. Now the message of this film is to do with the break up and disintegration of a family though sibling rivalry and the and the rebuilding of that family. So for me it was a seamless jump to go from Martin Scorsese’s set on Shutter Island to Jerry Bruckheimer and Mike Newell’s set on this because this film, yes it’s exciting, yes it’s thrilling, yet it’s an action packed drama but it’s character driven. And it’s the character driven aspect of this film that to be honest has elevated it into a dramatic realm that I’m very happy in. I love being in this film because it, it’s, it gives actors a great opportunity to delve into their characters and their cracks and their flaws.
Well as a follow up to that, given that you’ve had such a storied career how hard is it for you to craft new characters in new movies and always make them fresh?
Sir Ben Kingsley: Well it’s my job. If I can’t surprise myself, I can’t surprise my director and my fellow actors and therefore the audience so my quest is to surprise myself. Maybe it’s a little bit like a mountaineer always looking for a particularly dangerous mountain that, that maybe others have climbed before but not me. So I see myself as a bit of an explorer. A bit of a hunter. I’m always hunting for new opportunities and keep them fresh.
Which do you enjoy playing more, a villain or a good guy?
Sir Ben Kingsley: Well I believethat there’s good and bad in all of us. And I believe that there’s a light side and a dark side. So what I find fascinating and enjoyable is playing the balance. And in the recent movies I’ve done, what I have to do as an actor is to be unafraid of whether the audience like me or not. I’ve got to be indifferent to that. I’ve got to tell the story. So I know that there are, there have been twists and turns in recent films I’ve done Shutter Island, the Elegy, beautiful films that I’ve done recently. And this one of course. Where I’m not afraid of whether the audience will like me or not. That’s not the point. As long as they focus on the character and see his journey through the film that for me is thrilling. To tell that story. That unique destiny through that film.
Did you always want to be in a big Walt Disney spectacle movie for Jerry Bruckheimer? If so did you have any kind of favorite Bruckheimer films that you erm that you can remember?
Sir Ben Kingsley: It goes back further than that. When I was a child and we had Disney on our television sets in England and when I heard “When you Wish Upon a Star,” I was so choked up I mean it still does it for me. That signature tune, and that cast, that magic castle and that whole Disney logo I find so beautiful, so pure. So it means everything about family entertainment in my childhood being transported so it’s like a wheel going full circle. It’s a privilege to be in the best of the best which is that, that great Disney experience.
Full video interview…
Check out Prince of Persia in theaters May 28th!