Shang-Chi star Sir Ben Kingsley compared his own acting journey to that of his character Trevor Slattery.
Fans were caught by surprise to see that Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley was confirmed to reprise his role as Trevor Slattery in Marvel Studios’ newest film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Given the divisive response to his portrayal in Iron Man 3, some fans thought that the newest MCU film would further separate itself from the fake Mandarin by introducing the legitimate one.
Well, Ben Kingsley makes his first return to the MCU as Trevor Slattery in over eight years, and without giving away too much, his journey from Iron Man 3 to Shang-Chi has come a long way. Trevor Slattery, who is an actor that impersonated the Mandarin is a character that Ben Kingsley found numerous ways to identify with despite his eccentricities.
During a press conference for the film moderated by Ronny Chieng, Ben Kingsley drew some parallels to his own acting journey to that of his character Trevor Slattery, from when we first met him in Iron Man 3 to where his role in Shang-Chi takes him:
“…And I think that this story, because it’s so beautifully told, and so rich, will ultimately be healing because it’s not propaganda. It’s just a really beautiful story. I, as an actor, uh, Trevor, of course, is a Shakespearean actor and he finds himself transported into a completely exotic environment, but he survives. And thanks to the welcome that Kevin and-and Destin and my beautiful colleagues gave me, I have done 17 out of Shakespeare’s whole canon of plays. So, I’m sort of a Shakespearean actor. But as-as soon as I arrived on set, the fact that my colleagues were from a different culture was immaterial. Completely immaterial and irrelevant. We are actors together. We live on empathy and transformation. And this is our currency. All the rest is irrelevant. And if we can demonstrate that energy, I think it will ultimately be soothing and healing and-and, um, people will forget, oh, actually people will realize there’s very little difference in storytelling and very little difference in our hearts.”
When Iron Man 3 first hit theaters in 2013, the narrative decision regarding Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin misdirect revealing his identity as actor Trevor Slattery polarized fans. While some found it to be a welcome subversion of expectations from Shane Black and company, others thought it didn’t do the villain justice. Thankfully, Shang-Chi introduces audiences to Tony Leung as Wenwu, AKA the real Mandarin.
Here is the synopsis for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:
“Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung. The upcoming movie will hit theaters on September 3, 2021.
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Source: Shang-Chi Press Conference