Sir Ben Kingsley

  1. Ian McDiarmid, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, 1982.
  2. Louis Gosset Jr,  Sadat,  TV, 1983.     “It was the first offer I had after winning the Oscar for Gandhi. And I thought it would be wrong to accept the very first offer…  and I was right. If I’d done it [a four-hour Columbia Pictures TV mini series],  I would have missed films like Betrayal.”
  3. Richard Dysart, The  Falcon and The Snowman, 1985.     Kingsley rejected director John Scheslinger’s  $l.4m  offer and  knocked  off  two  TV classics instead, Silas Marner and Camille.
  4. Nick Tate, Return From The River Kwai, 1989.     He was wise to steer clear of the worthless – as in totally unnecessary – “sequel” to The Bridge  on the River Kwai.
  5. Tom Courtenay, The Last Butterfly, 1991.     Starting with the French mime artist Marcel Marceau in 1980, and turning to Dustin Hoffman and Kingsley to rescue it later, the true drama of a Czech clown hired by Nazis to fool a Red Cross visit to the Trezin concentration camp  took a decade to win a budget.
  6. Roshan Seth, Mississippi Masala, 1991.     Instead of Gandhi, Indian director Mira Nair chose Gandhi‘s Nehru  – one  of  the few Indian actors working in the West.
  7. Alfred Molina, The Perez Family, 1995.     Schindler’s List proved more important…  and urgent.
  8. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  9. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.      
  10. Geoffrey Rush, Munich, 2004.      One Oscar-winner for another…  When Steven Spielberg suddenly decided to shoot  a new ending for The Terminal, his next project was delayed and lost Kingsley as a Mossad chief due to his Fagin in Polanski’s  (totally unnecessary) Oliver Twist. 

  11. Marlon Brando, Superman Returns, 2006.
  12. Eric Roberts, The Expendables, 2009.     Change of heart about auteur Sylvester Stallone’s offer of a dirty bastard CIA sonuvabitch, Monroe.There was always something wrong about Rocky directing Gandhi… and ina film, said Sly,with “enough testosterone and ego to float
 a large continent covered in elephants.”Two French magazines mistakenlyreferred to the movie as The Expanbdables.Not far fromthe truth.
  13. Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack, TV, 2009.     One day, Gandhi. Another day, Jack Kevorkian – christened Dr Death by the tabloids after claiming to have euthanasiaed at least 130 patients.  (Convicted in 1998 of second degree murder in one such case, he served eight years of a 10-to-25 year sentence).  Kingsley was a better choice than Pacino – in the first of three tele-films with director Barry Levinson.
  14. Jeremy Irons, Margin Call, 2010.       “Please, speak as you might to a young child. Or a golden retriever. It wasn’t brains that brought me here.”  He was called Tuld, so close to Fuld, ceo  of Lehman Brothers, and this Wall Street drama  was thisclose to  the Lehman’s fall.  Sir Ben had to pass all Tuld’s great lines to Irons, who lapped them up. “We’re going to be left holding the biggest bag of odorous excrement ever assembled in the history of capitalism.”
  15. Alan Rickman, Gambit, 2012.     Change of the victim of an inspired hesist – played by Herbert Lom in the 1966 original. Except this Coen brothers’ re-tread was not, strictly speaking, a re-tread at all.



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  15