If you were to look up the word “menacing” in the dictionary, don’t be surprised if you see a picture of Ben Kinglsey portraying gangster Don Logan in Sexy Beast (2000).
Kingsley practically rips his way out of the screen and into the audience in this film. He’s got an inferno going on inside – an explosive rage that animates his every gesture, every glance, and every word. In short, his Don Logan is one of the most intimidating characters ever to be caught on film.
A short time ago, a movie-fan buddy of mine posted something on Facebook about why today’s actors who portray tough guys in movies don’t appear to be very tough in real life. Interestingly, Kingsley, who appears to be quite the soft-spoken gentleman in interviews, portrayed a character that would gladly bite the head off of most other on-screen “tough guys” – then chew it up and spit it out again just for spite.
I found the tension in Kingsley’s portrayal to be palpable – and I was watching it from the “safety” of my living room on DVD!
This from a guy who stands all of 5′ 8″ (about an inch shorter than I am).
Getting back to the Facebook discussion, I believe you don’t need to be a tough guy to convincingly portray one. As Kingsley proved, it’s better if you’re simply an amazing actor!
Because of Kingsley’s performance – as well as many other considerations such as the rest of the first-rate cast, happily “under-the-top” directing, and an overall fine story – I’d call this film a must-see!