Ben Kingsley basks in Sundance's youthful glow

Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:30pm EST
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - He is an Oscar winner and veteran actor, but if there is one thing Ben Kingsley loves to do, it is roll up his sleeves and work with young and inexperienced actors and filmmakers.

Kingsley, who debuted a new movie "The Wackness" this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, said he was unconcerned by the relative lack of work experience on the part of his 20-something co-stars and their first-time writer/director.

He looks for actors and filmmakers with a passion for storytelling, and his "Wackness" colleagues had it, he said.

In fact the 64-year-old Kingsley, who won the best actor Oscar in the title role of 1982's "Gandhi," said some of his favorite parts were in movies made by first-time filmmakers, including "Sexy Beast" and "House of Sand and Fog."

"If the writing is sound and good and thrilling ... then you just roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty and get on with it," Kingsley told Reuters.

"The Wackness" tells of a pot-smoking psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Kingsley), who is befriended by his dope-dealing teen-age patient, Luke Shapiro, played by Josh Peck, 21.

The movie was written and directed by Jonathan Levine, whom Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore called one of a new generation of post-baby boom directors.

"Wackness" is Levine's first feature-length film as both writer and director, although he directed the teen horror film "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane."   Continued...

 
<p>In this file photo actor Ben Kingsley poses for photographers at the premiere of the film "Lucky Number Slevin" in New York March 21, 2006. Kingsley, who debuted a new movie "The Wackness" this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, said he was unconcerned by the relative lack of work experience on the part of his 20-something co-stars and their first-time writer/director. REUTERS/Keith Bedford</p>