In the latter half of the 1990s, Kingsley continued
to embrace a variety of eclectic roles, with turns as the Fool in the
1996 film adaptation of ‘Twelfth Night’, a media mogul in
the 1997 made-for-HBO satire ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’,
and the barbarous barber Sweeney Todd in John Schlesinger's 1998 ‘The
Tale of Sweeney Todd’. Kingsley also took Broadway by storm with
his one-man show Edward Kean (later taped for cable), which was directed
by his wife, Alison Sutcliffe. Though Kingsley had retained the variety
in his career that he had so diligently pursued, the ever-sharp actor
remained as focused as ever heading into the new millennium.
Then, in 2001, came ‘Sexy Beast’. His showy, explosive supporting
turn as a spring-loaded gangster was the kind of role of which most
50-something actors can only dream; and it won him a deserved third
Oscar nomination. Typically he was not fazed. A week prior to the LA
award ceremony, Ben was awarded a knighthood at Buckingham Palace.
told the Queen that winning an Oscar pales into insignificance, this
is insurmountable. I've been nominated for an Academy Award but I will
be sitting there in Los Angeles thinking I'm a Knight Bachelor."
has proven he can play just about anyone, from Nazi war criminals to
Jewish Holocaust survivors. For many viewers, however, he will always
be inextricably linked with his title role in Gandhi, a film that won
him an Oscar and the undying respect of critics and filmgoers alike.
recently he has become known for refusing to acknowledge people who
do not refer to him as 'Sir Ben' - perhaps all this Knight Bachelor
stuff has gone to his head:)
'I just loved playing a man who was unafraid of making an idiot of himself
in the process of falling in love. I found that admirable'
was fortunate as a young actor, to go straight to the RSC, where I learned
that being an actor can bring with it wonderful responsibilities'
films to see:
Sexy Beast (2000)