On April 26, the third film in the popular Iron Man franchise will hit the big screen in India. In the Shane Black directed movie, Robert Downey Jr. aka Iron Man will fight stalwart Ben Kingsley, who plays the menacing villain, Mandarin. In a candid conversation before the film’s release, Kingsley talks about the subtlety of Mandarin’s ways and his upcoming trip to India.
What drew you to the role of Mandarin in Iron Man 3?
I’d never read Marvel comics, but maybe that’s a good thing because I came to it (Iron Man 3) fresh. I didn’t have any preconceptions of what I felt he (Mandarin) needed to be. So when the script arrived, it came to me with a tremendous freshness. It’s incredible to consider that this character has been around since 1963. Mandarin does not rant, rage and scream. He’s far more subtle than that.
Do you foresee a trip to India any time soon?
I’ve been asked to play a healer in an upcoming role and it is due to be filmed in India. It’s on the cards, but they haven’t made up their minds as to where, when or how. So maybe I’ll get to visit India this year.
Do you trace your roots to India?
Well, they aren’t totally direct. My father’s father left Gujarat as a child and was shipwrecked on the shores of Zanzibar. He sent his son to be educated in England. So as a direct cultural influence, India’s rather vague because it’s two generations of migration we’re talking about here.