Sir Ben Kingsley's PDA with a so-called mystery lady during the Golden Globes telecast was one of Sunday's buzziest -- and most unlikely -- moments.The actor caught on camera with a woman sitting on his lap, all flirty-like -- causing a big reaction on Twitter from viewers who wondered who she was.(Here's a photo of the duo mugging for the camera.) "Is Ben Kingsley's daughter sitting on his lap to save money? Meanwhile, Sandra Bernhard quipped, in all-lower-case on the social-networking site: "who is that broad hanging all over ben kingsley?
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The couple married in 2007, and she accompanied him to the ceremony, like any spouse would.
The day before I’m due to meet Ferdinand Kingsley, actor son of Sir Ben, he sends me a message to introduce himself via Twitter. ’ he quips merrily, for absolutely no reason at all since I hadn’t actually imagined that he would be.
Does he normally behave badly during interviews, I query, suddenly hoping rather mean-spiritedly that he does.
I can see the ‘thespian heir acts up’ headline already.
‘Oh, yeah, I’m a total moron.’ Sadly, Ferdy Kingsley, 26, is, in this regard, a disappointment.
Firstly, though he does have some bad boy traits — beard and occasional musician among them — he is far too polite to warrant a real bad boy label, messaging me again ahead of our meeting to advise me to wrap up warm (‘the rehearsal space is freezing kiss kiss’). This is a man who turned down a place at Cambridge (to read English at Clare) and his CV is flagrantly highbrow.He and his older brother Edmund, also an actor, have been performing Shakespeare since they were little (‘my first role was “boy at party” in Romeo and Juliet, I think’), completing a Royal Shakespeare Company run of Troilus and Cressida the day he joined the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (‘God, they must have thought I was an a***, waltzing up on day one with my Real Job — how annoying’), followed more recently by a turn as Rosencrantz in Hamlet at the National Theatre, for which he was nominated for the prestigious Ian Charleson awards.He gushes breathlessly about his new project, an immersive production of Thomas Otway’s Venice Preserv’d (more on that later).That rather effusive thoughtfulness that Sir Ben Kingsley is known for? He has those same huge chocolatey-brown eyes too, though far more hair.He wails when I say that, supposedly, you inherit hair-loss tendencies from your maternal grandfather. ’ He doesn’t, understandably, seem mad keen to discuss his Oscar-winning dad, or his mum (the theatre director Alison Sutcliffe) but he is nonetheless perfectly polite about that too.He has seen the film Gandhi four or maybe five times, he reckons (‘Er, yep, it’s pretty good’), and although his parents divorced when he was four — Alison and the kids lived in Stratford-upon-Avon and Ben nearby in Oxfordshire — they saw each other often.