In his new film, “Learning to Drive, ” Academy Award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley plays a soft-spoken Sikh taxi driver, Darwan, who gives driving lessons to a work-obsessed Manhattanite, Wendy, played by Patricia Clarkson. Their unlikely friendship transcends both status and race, but Kingsley hopes it can resonate beyond that for audiences.
During a conversation with HuffPost Live on Monday, Kingsley discussed the way his character, who faces the stereotyping that’s become all too common for Sikhs in post-9/11 America, can become a learning opportunity for viewers.
“Just as it was important for Gandhi to be told, ‘Get off the train, kaffir,’ and be thrown off, unfortunately it is important to understand Darwan’s stillness and dignity in the context of a pretty well-steady flow of abuse,” Kingsley told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And I hope that the film may allow audiences to look at the next Sikh they see in the street, or in a supermarket or at the wheel of a car slightly differently.”
Watch Kingsley describe the importance of his new role in the video above, and click here for the full HuffPost Live conversation.
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