Sir Ben Kingsley calls for gender equality in films claiming women directors are better than men

Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley – Provided by Shutterstock
Actor, Sir Ben Kingsley has come forward in support of gender equality in the film sector.

Sir Ben Kingsley, 72, admitted that he had only worked with ‘possibly four’ female directors since beginning his career in 1972. He called this admission a ‘terrible balance’ and praised female directors’ talents.

Speaking to The Observer, Kingsley said, “I do feel that 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.”

“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.”

“The ladies I have worked with have an extraordinary ability to put (male vulnerability) on screen.”

“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.”

Kingsley first worked with a female director in 2001, starring in The Triumph of Love, directed by Clare Peploe. He has since performed in the female-directed Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Learning to Drive, a film directed by Isobel Coixet, produced by Dana Friedman and written by Sarah Kernochan.

Kingsley is the latest celebrity in a long list to call for gender equality and equal pay within the film and TV industry. Actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Patricia Arquette, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Rose McGowan and Cate Blanchett have recently spoken up about the lack of gender diversity within the film industry.

In May, a report by Directors UK found that only 13.6% of working film directors in the UK are women.


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Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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1 Response
  1. David

    “– the loving female eye –” …….and that’s it Sir Ben? Why can’t it be an eye of a thousand things? Why does it have to be “loving”? Why can’t it roar, punch and scream? The only role women in film could possibly have is to make you – a man – show vulnerability? So irritating.