May 27, 2010 / 4:44 AM / 7 years ago

Ben Kingsley denies he's a serious man

<p>Cast member Ben Kingsley arrives at the premiere of the movie "Shutter Island" in New York February 17, 2010. REUTERS /Natalie Behring</p>

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Ben Kingsley returns to theaters on Friday with Disney’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” The day before, the Oscar-winning “Gandhi” will get his first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF MAKING “PRINCE OF PERSIA”?

Ben Kingsley: Horses make me very nervous. It’s not that I don’t really like horses but rather they don’t like me. I did have to do some riding and then I was in a full suit of black armor -- and then it decided to be 120 degrees. It was awful.

YOU PLAY A BAD GUY. WAS THAT AWFUL OR FUN?

Kingsley: My character, Uncle Nizam, isn’t a baddie. This was a man driven by envy and regret. He was a normal chap and when envy and regret started to eat away at him, he turned bad. With that richness of character in mind, I was on that knife-edge of being good and bad, which I love.

DO YOU RESEMBLE HIM AT ALL?

Kingsley: I‘m not Uncle Nizam, eaten up with envy and regret. I‘m a happy man, and maybe it’s because I let things pass.

ARE THERE CERTAIN ROLES OR TYPES OF MOVIES THAT YOU LET

PASS?

Kingsley: I avoid working with directors who are bullies and patronizing and really don’t understand the process of creation in front of the camera. I wouldn’t work in a film that I felt wasn’t a bridge builder.

THAT‘S NOT TOO SURPRISING. WHAT WOULD SURPRISE US ABOUT

YOU?

Kingsley: People tend to think I‘m very serious, but I have a wicked sense of humor.

IF YOU COULD TURN BACK THE “SANDS OF TIME” YOURSELF, WHERE

WOULD YOU GO?

Kingsley: I am completely mesmerized by Shakespeare. If I could go back to Stratford-upon-Avon while he was alive and walk across the fields with him and have a really good chat, I’d be really happy.

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MOST HAPPY?

Kingsley: I got very fond of India when I filmed “Gandhi” and the Indians welcomed me as a part of their history. That’s one of my magic places. Another is Los Angeles. I enjoy Hollywood very much indeed. I love the smell! It’s an incredible mixture that’s a really exciting aroma. It’s sort of eucalyptus-y, pine, a little bit of gasoline. I can’t quite describe it, but you can definitely smell it.

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