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How Morgan Freeman Got That Voice

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Sir Ben Kingsley Talks ‘Jungle Book’ & Environmentalism

Larry King NowApr 13 '16

Hollywood legend Sir Ben Kingsley joins Larry for an in-depth conversation to discuss his role in the acclaimed new Disney film 'The Jungle Book,' his iconic career, and offers a thoughtful perspective on environmental preservation.


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on April 13th 2016:

“It does fly by but I think there’s something essential in one, the inner core perhaps hasn’t changed that much. It’s informed, it’s molded, it’s given direction, hopefully purpose, but I think the inner core of the little boy that sat in the cinema and watched ‘Never Take No For An Answer’ about a little boy that looked exactly like me. An orphaned Italian boy and his donkey Violetta. It’s a marvelous film and Martin Scorsese gave me a copy of the movie very recently and I’ve watched it again and again to see why I was so, as a child, as enthralled by it. That’s when I decided I wanted to be an actor, at the age of four.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on his fifty years in the business and how he decided to become an actor at the age of four

“[‘The Jungle Book’] came to me remarkably simply. I got to know Jon Favreau whilst filming ‘Iron Man 3’ and we were brought together at a Golden Globe party a couple of years ago. He came and sat next to me and my wife and he mentioned Bagheera and the Jungle Book and I think I said ‘Yes’ before he even got to the end of the sentence I was so excited.”— Sir Ben Kingsley on how he got the role of Bagheera

“Jon wanted me to be Bagheera, and then I later learned while working on it and learning more about Kipling, and then reading letters of Rudyard Kipling with my son, because unfortunately Kipling’s son dies in World War one. John Kipling was killed in the battle of Loos and he was only eighteen and Kipling never recovered from it, from that loss. Reading the exchange of letters in public between Rudyard and John, it was my son and I reading them, it was a very poignant moment and it was then when I finished the recording that I realized something that I was intuiting but not quite defining. I think I’m the voice of Kipling in this film.I think I am Bagheera and Rudyard Kipling. I think Kipling associated himself with Bagheera-the teacher, the mentor, the military superior.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on how he believes he is not only voicing Bagheera but Rudyard Kipling as well

“For every species we destroy, we might be destroying a potential cure for something that has dogged us for generations. It’s out there.It is my, not religious, but sort of my cosmic belief that everything on the planet is there for us. The more we shrink that vocabulary of healing the more dangerous place we will find ourselves in.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on his views of nature conservation

“My wife and I have ourselves a little company, well not that little, and we are preparing two mini-series. We have scripts and we are aiming two of our projects directly at TV. It’s a wonderful world now, it’s mature, it puts history on the screen where epic films can’t do it anymore, it’s very exciting. Wonderful work for actors, writers, directors.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on his upcoming production series

“Yeah but I had a secret to that performance. He was an abused child.That’s why he was like what he was like. That’s why he was what he was. A unhealed abused child. It was a scream that I wanted to be heard. Sometimes your craft and your inner voice coincide and you find yourself privileged to scream something at the top of your voice that otherwise you couldn’t.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on his favorite role to play, Don Logan from ‘Sexy Beast’

“The British find it very difficult to enthuse. The British find it very difficult to celebrate success openly and vocally. It’s very different from New York or LA and America where you can be greeted walking a block or two by many people. In England if you walk into a restaurant they will mutter behind their menus ‘oh look it’s Ben Kingsley...I’ll get the fish.’ What balances it is, and we need this balance, is that seeming indifference and suddenly the sovereign says ‘No no no, we are not indifferent. We have seen what you’re up to, and we thank you.’ It’s beautiful.” — Sir Ben Kingsley on what it’s like to be knighted

“My favorite moments though Larry are when I look at the screen and say ‘Ahh that’s not me.’ Maybe it lasts four seconds, maybe it’s fleeting, but there’s a moment why my ego and I have completely let go and something else comes through. It’s fleeting and hard to describe but I catch it on the screen and I go ‘there ya go, you’ve let go.’” — Sir Ben Kingsley on watching himself on screen