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Interview: Sir Ben Kingsley Always Steering in ‘Learning to Drive’

Chicago – The presence of Sir Ben Kingsley – yes, he was knighted in his native Britain – is the first thing that commands a room. The regal and precise actor, who was awarded an Best Actor Oscar for his definitive performance in “Gandhi,” is back portraying a native of India in his latest film, “Learning to Drive.”

The film is a transition story for the two main characters. Darwan (Kingsley) is a Indian Sikh who gained political asylum in America shortly before September 11th. He is a driving instructor, and encounters a new student in Wendy (Patricia Clarkson). The woman is going through a bitter divorce, and is using the potential of learning to drive to gain more freedom. The two disparate souls help each other in essential ways, and at the same time weather the storm of some extreme life changes.

Sir Ben Kingsley as Darwan in ‘Learning to Drive

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