Friday, September 28, 2007

Ben Kingsley as Shakespeare and Shahjehan

English playwright William Shakespeare and Mughal emperor Shahjehan were contemporaries - though it is doubtful either knew of the other's existence. Four centuries later, Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley is playing both historical figures in two different films.

First up is the one on Shakespeare, based on a novel about a meeting between The Bard and his lawyer as he prepares his last Will and testament.

The second is a film about the making of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Kingsley, 63, will essay the role of Shahjehan who built the marble monument in the memory of his wife Mumtaz, played by Aishwarya Rai.

Shooting for both films is slated to begin in 2008.

And what of the Indian Express report which had Kingsley playing spiritual teacher Osho Rajneesh in the Guru of Sex?

Seems Kingsley, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film, is trying to catch up on his history.

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