Kingsley searches for angels in Siberian rail drama

Sat Feb 9, 2008 2:50pm EST
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By Dave Graham

BERLIN (Reuters) - To play an evil-doer convincingly, Ben Kingsley says, you must first understand the pain that turned that person into what they are.

Kingsley stars as a Ilya Grinko, a corrupt Russian policeman in U.S. director Brad Anderson's new film "TransSiberian," a Hitchcock-inspired thriller about an American couple's perilous voyage of discovery across the Trans-Siberian railroad.

Kingsley, who in recent years has played a series of movie villains in films ranging from "Sexy Beast" to "Death and the Maiden," said on Saturday that what attracted him to the parts was the challenge of uncovering the emotional core of each one.

"What sustained my performance in 'Sexy Beast' was my decision that Don Logan was probably an abused child," he told a news conference at the Berlin film festival.

"What I found so poignant and valuable in building Grinko was the loss of his son."

"It's more a question of 'How do you live with your psychological inheritance?' rather than you decide to be bad. I tried to portray Grinko as having no choice," he added.

"It's just circumstance which will bring the good angel or the bad angel out of each one of us."

U.S. actor Woody Harrelson and Britain's Emily Mortimer play the pair that set off from Beijing hoping to inject new life into their marriage but are instead embroiled in a fight for their lives after making friends with the wrong people en route.   Continued...

<p>Actor Ben Kingsley poses during a photocall to present his film 'Transsiberian' running at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 9, 2008. The 58th Berlinale, one of the world's most prestigious film festivals, will run from February 7 to 17 in the German capital. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>