Sir Ben Kingsley was on Jay Leno's late-night show to promote “Iron Man 3” – he plays Mandarin – but he talked about his fashion and style faux pas on the 1983 night he won the best actor Oscar for “Gandhi.”
He mistakenly bought a too-tight white jacket, was sporting a pencil mustache for a play and agreed at his Beverly Hills hotel to have his (little bit of) hair trimmed and an instant tan applied, giving him an orange cast.
“I looked like a demented wine waiter,” he joked, and when he hoisted the Oscar, appeared as if asking, “Who ordered the chardonnay?”
The distinguished actor remembered presenter John Travolta opening the envelope and reading his name and “everything sort of went into slow motion and under water. And I somehow got up onto the stage. I looked dreadful.”
Kingsley was knighted in 2002 – during the ceremony, the Queen used the sword that belonged to her late father, King George VI, in World War II. “To see that sword move floating over your head is quite wonderful.”
“Iron Man 3” is his first big action extravaganza, which also means lots of interviews all over the world.
“I have heard the same question over and over again in different accents,” he said, then proved it by saying in various accents, “You are bad guy, you are bad guy” and “You are the villain in that movie.” Yes, he is, although his Mandarin differs from the one in the comic books.
By the way, there is one additional scene at the very, very end of the credits. It doesn’t so much advance the series as provide a look at one of the other Avengers and a giggle.
(Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley at a London press conference. James Gilham/Sting Media photo)