Over the years, the quiz on ‘Which movie has the most extras?’ When asked, the only answer was – Gandhi. With a funeral scene attended by over 400,000 people, it was a wonderful experience for Ben Kingsley, who played Gandhi. It’s Of Ben The first main character in the motion picture and when he played that role, he felt that fate was guiding him. “When I got the role I was reading the biography of Louis Fisher Gandhi,” Ben shared during a visit to India in 1981.

Recalling his shooting time for the funeral scene, Ben previously shared in an interview with BAFTA on the occasion of his 25th anniversary. Image The scene was initially filmed with a wax-like model, but the look was not right so director Richard Attenborough asked him to go inside and lie down. For the first few minutes, Ben shared that the extras were throwing flowers at his face to get a reaction from him, but he was composing. After a while, the crowd fell silent and all they could hear was the clatter of parade feet. A few years later, in an interview with GQ, Ben said, “I think my deep love for a man (Gandhi) coincidentally empowered me during the long-awaited days in India. And the people of India were very generous. You see, no CGI, can you believe it? That is four lakh people for his funeral. It seemed unusual to me. ”

Ben’s Gandhian character won him an Academy and BAFTA award, but to play the role of a calm and peaceful looking man, very strategically and methodically, Ben had to do a lot of homework. “I tried to find out what his source of strength was. His unwavering faith in the survival of the fittest,” he shared with Indian news agencies during his 2009 tour of India during his participation in the International Film Festival of India in Goa. Had to find a consistency and became furious and angry at the behavior of his fellow countrymen. It did not lead to an angry show, but a show that everyone admired fueled that anger and resentment, ”he said.

Acting as a man who led the revolution in India and became an international symbol of non-violence and satyagraha was no small task, but Ben had to understand in a simple way how to portray his complex nature on screen. “Gandhi was a very critical man. But, all the complexities were kept in balance. I had to find a way to make the job easier, because if I had a complex perspective it would have been impossible to function, ”he shared during his 2009 tour.

Gandhi Roshan Seth, Ben Kingsley, Alik Padamsee in a still from Gandhi.

In addition to doing the work of his mind, the character also had to do some physical activity and this is where yoga came in handy. “Yoga really helped to get the essence of man (Gandhi). It helped me breathe better, stay calm and relax even when demands come on me, ”he shared during his 1981 visit. Ben had an old hip injury that prevented him from sitting on the floor, but as he began to practice yoga, he overcame it too. In a chat at the USC School of Dramatic Arts in 2018, after Ben tested once for the role, Richard asked him to do another screen test with makeup and he looked like Gandhi and Richard offered him. Character on the spot, but he still had to give another screen test. “Physical similarity is a necessity. It’s been on my mind for five years since I first saw Ben Kingsley. No one has hit me like Ben hit me,” Richard shared on his 1981 visit.

Ben’s physical and mental habits declined, but another experience from his childhood empowered him to play the role of revolutionary. Born as Krishna Pandit Bhanji, Ben had an Indian heritage from his father’s side and when he was growing up, racism was prevalent in the UK and he was on the same end. In a 1991 interview on The Dick Covet Show, Ben revealed that he was deeply saddened by the “steady flow of racial abuse” in his childhood. Some bullies called him a “vogue” (insulting and racially offensive slang), but he believed that having those difficult years made him a successful man later in life. “My thanks to the kid who cornered me, called me Waggy, and kicked me in the leg so I couldn’t walk for half a day. I said to him ‘Do you want to see my Oscar? Because of your behavior, I have reached the top, so thank you so much.

In the years since the 1982 film, many actors have portrayed Gandhi on screen in many languages, but the portrayal of Ben’s man has always remained the standard that will remain in public memory.


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