In Dalìland, the biopic in cinemas from May 25 directed by Mary Harron of American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page and Charlie Says, the great English actor is a practically perfect Salvador Dalí. But, from Gandhi to this role, Kingsley has often played real people. Here are which ones.
“Playing Dalí was both exhausting and exhilarating,” he said Sir Ben Kingsleyprotagonist of Daliland in the role of a unique artist, whose art did not end with the surface and content of his works, but concerned every aspect of his life.
To play the role of a unique character, whose “goblet overflowed”, Kingsley he said that he had to “give himself the opportunity to take risks, encouraged by the character himself, who took risks with his works, his writings, his public appearances, obviously referring to the unbridled existence of the man who made excess a ‘art.
“Dalí,” he added, “is not a character you could play by being careful.”
The result of the risks taken by Kingsley for this biopic directed by Mary Harron (the director of American PsychoOf The Notorious Bettie Page e you Charlie Says), we will see them in Italian cinemas from 25 Maywhen Daliland will arrive in theaters distributed by Plaion Pictures.
Meanwhile, later the Dalíland trailer, let’s retrace together the many stages of Ben Kinglsey’s career during which, from the famous Gandhi onwards, the actor played the role of real characters.
Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi
The film debut of Sir Ben Kingsley dates back to 1973, the year in which, when he was already an established theater performer and had begun acting in television productions, he had a minor role in the thriller The last six minutes. And yet, the actor’s great film career really only began with his second film, which arrived nine years later, in 1982, and which immediately made him an international star. The film is obviously the biopic Gandhi by Richard Attenborough in which Kingsley (born of an Indian father with the name of Krishna Pandit Bhanji), plays the symbol of pacifism and leader of the Indian independence movement of the 1920s. A role that earned him a host of awards, including the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA.
Dmitrij Shostakovich in Testimony
In 1988 Ben Kingsley is the protagonist of a biopic directed by Tony Palmer in which he plays Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the most important classical music composers of the 20th century, also a prolific film scorer of Soviet Russia. The film is called Testimonywhich is also the same as the composer’s memoir on which the film itself is based.
Meyer Lansky in Bugsy
Bugsy is the 1991 film, directed by Barry Levinson, in which the protagonist Warren Beatty plays the role of the famous gangster belonging to the so-called “Jewish Syndicate”, or “Jewish mafia”, the Jewish organized crime organization active in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the movie Kingsley is Meyer Lansky, also in the “Jewish Syndicate”, a great friend of Lucky Luciano, also known as “the accountant of the underworld”. For the part Kingsley was nominated for an Oscar.
Bruce Pandolfini in Searching for Bobby Fischer
The chess player Bobby Fischer, an intriguing and in his own way legendary figure, has inspired books and films. One of them is Looking for Bobby Fischeralso known by the title of In check, written and directed in 1993 by Steven Zaillian. The story is actually that of a young player, Joshua Waitzkin, whose talent is compared by his instructor to that of Fisher. The instructor, who is played by Kingsley in the film, is called Bruce Pandolfiniis well known in the chess world and has acted as a consultant for the series The chess queen (and for the novel from which it was based).
Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List
In one of the most acclaimed films by the great Steven Spielberg, the one in which the tragedy of the Holocaust is told and the strength and heroism of those who, in one way or another, opposed it, Schindler’s ListBen Kingsley (who had a German Jewish maternal grandfather, who abandoned his grandmother very early) was wanted by the director to play Itzhak Sternfirst employee and then friend of Oskar Schindler, who will help him in his activities of rescuing Polish Jews from concentration camps.
Georges Méliès in Hugo Cabret
Almost twenty years pass (from 1993 to 2011) for Ben Kingsley to return to play the role of a character who really existed, but when he returns to do so, in theHugo Cabret by Martin Scorsese, does it brilliantly: in that film based on the book by Brian Selznick the actor is even Georges Méliès, one of the fathers of cinema together with the Lumières. If these are at the origin of all realism, the great Méliès is the one who conceived cinema as a dream, illusion, magic.
Miklós Horthy in Walking with the Enemy
The year is 2013, the film is directed by Mark Schmidt and is called Walking with the Enemy. This is another film that deals with the tragedy of Nazism and the Holocaust, telling the story of two young Jews who try to save their lives. Kinglsy in the movie is Miklós Horthythe man who was Regent of Hungary from 1920 to 1944.
Ibn Sina in Medicus
Con Doctor, a 2013 film written and directed by Philipp Stölzl, loosely based on the novel of the same name by Noah Gordon, goes even further back in time, up to the 11th century. Ben Kingsley is given the role of Ibn Sinabetter known to us as AvicennaPersian physician, philosopher, mathematician, logician and physicist regarded by many as the father of modern medicine, as well as “the most famous scientist of Islam and one of the most famous of all races, places and times”.
Jack L. Warner in Life
Life is the fifth and for the moment the last feature film directed by Anton Corbijn, one of the most famous photographers in the world. It tells of the friendship between another photographer (from the famous Life magazine), Dennis Stock and James Dean. The two characters are played respectively by Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan, but Ben Kingsley goes the role of Jack L. Warnerthe legendary Hollywood producer, co-founder and president of Warner Bros.active in the world of cinema for over forty-five years.
Hamid Karzai in War Machine
In 2017, after being the Regent of Hungary, Ben Kingsley again plays the role of a head of state. He does it in War Machine by David Michôd, a sort of melancholy satire on the war in Afghanistan in which the actor is Hamid Karzaifirst head of the Afghan transitional administration, then interim president and finally the first president-elect of Afghanistan in office from 7 December 2004 to 29 September 2014.
Adolf Eichmann in Operation Finale
Thus we arrive at Operation Finale by Chris Weitz, the film that in 2018 told of the secret mission of the Mossad during which, in Argentina, in 1960, he tracked down and captured Adolf Eichmann, a leading exponent of Hitler’s Nazi regime, considered one of the major operatives of the Holocaust. And after being Itzhak Stern, this time Kingsley plays the villain and plays Eichmann.
We just have to wait for May 25 to admire Sir Ben Kingsley’s talent in Daliland again on the screen.