Ben Kingsley is one of the most well-known actors of his generation and now, he’s advocating for more women to direct and and have a greater role in Hollywood. The “Ghandi” actor recently spoke with the Observer about how some of his best acting moments, where he was most vulnerable, came from being directed by a woman.
“I do feel that it is through the prism, the lens, the perspective of the female eye – the loving female eye – that a man is almost given permission to be vulnerable,” the Oscar winner said. “I’m sorry to say that I’ve only worked with possibly four female directors. If you look at my CV, I’ve done a lot of movies, so that’s a terrible imbalance.”
According to Kingsley, female directors have “an extraordinary ability to put [male vulnerability] on screen” that male directors lack. “There’s only one male director – possibly two – who really gets this and understands its value as a currency, as a character trait, as something that has its place in our humanity and must always have,” the actor noted.
One of his last projects to be directed by a woman was the film “Learning to Drive,” directed by Isabel Coixet and written by Sarah Kernochan. Kingsley praised the helmer and called her one of the most talented directors he’s worked with, “It is that lens … through which Isabel looks that sees that which a male director might be in denial about.”
There’s no doubt that the industry is ruled by male directors, but Kingsley wants female helmers to get more opportunities, “I don’t want whatever it is to hold them back any more. We just have to make broader choices.”
And Kingsley is intent on helping things change in Hollywood. His production company is planning to give female directors more chances to take the lead in new projects.
“Out of several projects on our slate, a high percentage are written by women and a considerable percentage will be directed by women,” he said.