Sir Ben Kingsley: I've only worked with four female directors

Sir Ben Kingsley: I've only worked with four female directors

Sir Ben Kingsley has only ever worked with four female directors during his film career.

The 72-year-old actor has been making movies for five decades and he thinks it is "ludicrous" that so few women have helmed projects he's been involved with and insists it highlights the gender inequality that exists in the industry.

The last female director he worked with was Isabel Coixet on 'Learning To Drive' and he has praised her for bringing out the "male vulnerability" in his character Darwan Singh Tur.

In an interview with website HeyUGuys.com, he said: "I was counting the other night the number of female directors that I have had the pleasure of working with over many years in my business - four. It's ludicrous."

Revealing how much he enjoyed Coixet's direction, he added: "Isabel puts male vulnerability on the screen in a way that is seen as a great asset not as something one should cover up and defend. Be vulnerable to the world as Darwan Singh is. So it was thrilling to work with her."

The Oscar-winning actor spent time with the Sikhn community in New York City to prepare for his role in the movie - which focuses on the unlikely friendship that develops between Sikh driving instructor Darwan and author Wendy Shields (Patricia Clarkson) - something that he is very grateful for.

He explained: "We were able to film in Queens. Not only that, the Sikh community allowed us to film in their temple. That space in America as you well know has been violated cruelly but they had the courage - rather like Darwan Singh - to move on, to move back into the world, to get out of any kind of bubble. So I did find my time in Queens with those men and women very very instructive and eye opening and very life enhancing."