Ben Kingsley’s character in Iron Man 3 is a terrorist who sets off explosive devices across America for maximum death and destruction.
He hacks into national television telecasts to spread his fear, promising his attacks will soon target the president. So how did Kingsley prepare to play The Mandarin, the terrorist thorn in Iron Man’s side? Did he study Islamic radicals, the terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers and continue to wreck havock across the globe?
Nope. He looked to … Baptist preachers for guidance. The actor shared his research methods regarding the Mandarin on ABC News.
I decided not to play him villainously … but to try to play him as a man who has a profound belief in his own sense of righteousness … that is what’s terrifying about these people who hack into our airwaves, and broadcast to us … they’re uttering the most vile, destructive things.
The ABC News interviewer then mentioned how the character’s speech patterns have been comparad to a Baptist preacher.
Yes, Kingsley confirms, while the interviewer reminds viewers that Kingsley previously said, “there’s a lesson there” regarding the character’s inspirational roots.
“It was a great acting exercise,” Kingsley says.