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Iron Man 3‘s Ben Kingsley Hasn’t Read Any of the Comics, Doesn’t Care What You Think

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Because he’s Ben Kingsley, darnit, and it doesn’t matter how the Mandarin is in the comics, he’s doing things his way.

Good call, Ben. Because I don’t think the comic version of the Mandarin would work on the big screen all that well. For reasons that rhyme with… what rhymes with “racism”?

Says Kingsley of constructing his version of the Marvel villain:

“I didn’t have any template to copy. I’m undereducated as far as Marvel comics are concerned, and that can be a good thing, like coming to a Shakespeare play fresh rather than having done it 20 times… [It’s a] human portrayal of evil, on a grand scale. [Mandarin] released demonic layers in me…I did go a little crazy!”

“… plus, did you know that the Mandarin in the comics is, like, crazy racist?” But said with more gravitas because, y’know. He’s Ben Kingsley.

The actor also had a few things to say about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely that he only had a “peripheral vision” of it before Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige approached him about playing the Mandarin. Again: “I hadn’t seen them,” but with gravitas. Explains Kingsley, “We sat down and had a nice conversation. My garden looked splendid, which I think helped.” Oh-kaaaay. Does the Mandarin have a thing for gardening that I don’t know about?

I’ve got to give props to Kingsley for his decision. A comic book movie has to work, above all, as a movie. And if Kingsley says he’ll make better acting choices without being tied down by decades of comic book canon, then I trust him.

On a less serious note: I have no idea how legit this is, but The Times of India is reporting that Kingsley is planning to dress like the Mandarin at various Iron Man 3 premieres:

“Ben’s designer will travel to the state soon to narrow down on the details of the dress, namely the fabric, colors and designs. Ben wants to wear something different for all the premiers and since he had a connect with Gujarat, he decided to go for a Gujarati dress.”

Yeah? You got something to say about it, punks?

(via: blastr, Comic Book Movie)

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