"Something of the devil" in all of us, says Ben Kingsley

Society Materials 9 February 2008 20:09 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Ben Kingsley says he has something in common with the corrupt detective he plays in Brad Anderson's mystery story Transsiberian that was shown at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.

"I think there's something of the devil and the angel in all of us," the Oscar-winning actor said in an interview.

Kingsley plays Grinko, a police investigator pursuing the murderer of a drug dealer who gets involved with two American couples travelling on Russia's famed Trans-Siberian railway.

The thriller on wheels, which also stars Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer and Kate Hara, is also an examination of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its corruption, according to Kingsley.

"The fall of the Soviet Union is an extraordinary event and it did produce its displaced persons," he said.

"You served as a police officer and it all collapses, everything you worked for. So what do you do, you change hands. You know where the bodies are buried, where the drugs are."

Kingsley's Grinko, whose son died of cancer, creates his own world because the real one let him down, Kingsley said. He decided to go his own way and get involved with the drug dealers for the money.

"He reminded me of a couple of people, Russians - a limousine driver in Los Angeles and some Russians who owned a restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Transsiberian is running in the Berlinale's Panorama arthouse section. Kingsley is also starring in Elegy, which is up for a Golden Bear award in the main competition.

Kingsley describes acting as "the disciplined framework of my life. Take away acting and I would probably be a lunatic."

"There are other important things, but they would not have a central spine without the craft of making things, like a portrait."

In Elegy, Kingsley plays alongside Penelope Cruz in Spanish director Isabel Coixet's work based on a novel by Philip Roth.

"The women on the set were wonderful to work with and my character was very, very vulnerable to female energy," he said.