Ben Kingsley Drawn to ‘Honest’ Humanity in ‘Learning to Drive’
Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson star as a mismatched pair who are worlds apart in “Learning to Drive.” Kingsley is a working class turban-wearing Sikh driving instructor living in Queens to Clarkson’s Upper West Side literary critic. But the driving lessons they share take a backseat to the lessons in life that they learn through each other.
“I was very drawn to the genuine heart of the film—true honest reflection of us as human beings and how we bump into each other,” Kingsley tells Made in Hollywood. “It’s all coalition—it’s all accident.”
Indeed, it’s a series of coincidences and life happening by accident that inspired “Learning to Drive.” The rom-com-drama is based on writer Katha Pollitt’s 2007 book, of which the film shares the same title, that features introspective essays on a range of topics, including her experience taking driving lessons from an instructor—a man from the Philippines.
Kingsley says that sincerity and the “great writing” of stories is “dependent on real-life accidents.”
Continuing, he emphasizes that the connection between the characters is serendipitous and raw. “Not manufactured. Not compartmentalized. Not sentimentalized. A quite unpredictable conclusion for the people involved.”
“I was very drawn to the genuine heart of the film—true honest reflection of us as human beings and how we bump into each other,” he says. “It’s all coalition—it’s all accident.”
As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage...Read MoreTrailers