Shah Jahan Kingsley

Following upon the stunning artistic and commercial success of “The Last Legion” (1, 2, UB40), co-stars Sir Ben and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have agreed to team up again, this time as Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Colin Firth is rumored to be considering the role of Aurangzeb .

My fans will watch me in anything because I am TMBWITW

The casting of Sir Ben is, in my mind, absolutely perfect. Shah Jahan’s marriage to Mumtaz at 19 has become a symbol of eternal love. Sir Ben also is a man who never stopped believing in love, having married his fourth wife at age 63, after the following:

“three failed marriages, four children by two different wives, a long-term live-in lover who was replaced by wife No 3 (also nearly half his age), whom he then jettisoned after discovering her embracing her lover in a photograph on the internet in 2005.” [Link]

Shah Jahan built a giant marble tomb to house his wife’s remains, as if she was a figure from ancient Egypt. Sir Ben feels the same way about wife #4:

“Daniela is like an ancient mythological princess. She has great deep dignity. She moves like an ocean liner…” [Link]

Shah Jahan is known not by his given name (“Prince Khurrum Shihab-ud-din Muhammad”) but by his title Shah Jahan or “King of the World” [wiki]. Krishna Bhanji cuts a regal figure and is also known by his title:

Sir Ben and his Mumtaz

Sir Ben … [insists] that he be addressed as “Sir Ben” at all times. The title was included on his passport and other documentation after he received a knighthood in 2001, and he even signs emails SBK(as in Sir Ben Kingsley). Someone who unwittingly called him “Mr Kingsley” at a party received a stinging rebuke. “He looked at me in disgust,” the guest told the Mail, “then said: ‘You should call me Sir Ben’ and cut me dead.” [Link, rebuttal]

I can’t imagine a better bit of casting.

Related posts: Time for some Ben Kingsley

39 thoughts on “Shah Jahan Kingsley

  1. Following upon the stunning artistic and commercial success of “The Last Legion”

    What? When? Really?

  2. he be addressed as “Sir Ben” at all times

    he actually mentioned that when he played himself in an episode of Sopranos

  3. “[insists] that he be addressed as “Sir Ben”

    Actually, not really. I interviewed him, and he asked him point blank if this was true, as my interview would be over at that point. He laughed it off, saying it was just a rumour. I stayed for another hour and 45 minutes.

  4. “She moves like an ocean liner…”

    now that is a line! but which ocean liner? Hopefully not one of the ones that sunk.

    also when filming in india he should be wary about referring to his wife as a great mythological princess lest the asi and karunanidhi point out to him that there is not a shred of evidence that she exists and that she must be a figment of his ageing mind.

  5. “My fans will watch me in anything because I am TMBWITW”

    There are some of us out there who agree wholeheartedly and will refuse to believe that you wrote this caption in a sarcastic tone =)

    Ok, maybe it’s just me!

  6. “Colin Firth is rumored to be considering the role of Aurangzeb.”

    is that a joke line or is he really considering the role of aurangzeb?

  7. what a comparison. am i the only one to find this funny? :)

    It’s hilarious. I worked hard to be able to include that line :-D

    Nina – thanks!

  8. My bad! I saw this elsewhere, but if you had posted it on the news section, you totally deserve recognition. We really do appreciate all of the stories y’all post there, very very much.

  9. She moves like an ocean liner…

    given his track record, i hope it doesn’t mean that she just has new men at every port. although whatever floats his boat, i guess.

  10. after reading that article, i’m surprised his new wife is not playing mumtaz, given the way she’s described as being an ambitious actress and given that this is their own production.

  11. given his track record, i hope it doesn’t mean that she just has new men at every port. although whatever floats his boat, i guess.

    If Lady Kingsley is an ocean liner, TMBWITW is, maybe, more like a schooner. Wooden but easy on the eyes. But TMBWITW is all shored up with BabyB right?

  12. She moves like an ocean liner and goes down like the Titanic.

    only when they see my giant iceberg, if you know what i mean.

  13. What do you all think about Aishwarya’s move to officially change her surname? I was irritated to read the following in the linked article:

    “Niraj Mancchanda comments “Not only Aishwarya Rai but any girl in the world who continues to write her maiden name before the husband’s surname will always give more priority to her maiden family and the importance to the husband’s family will be secondary after marriage. This is because the maiden surname is written before the husband’s surname.”

    This hit a nerve bcs I have chosen to keep my surname after marriage much to the dismay of my in-laws, who are fairly “progressive” desis living in CA, yet can’t deal with the fact that I haven’t completely given into their family as they see it. My decision to do so was largely based on the fact that I have published under my surname and, sure, it is part of my identity. And it doesn’t stop at the name-change — I’ve found my in-laws, as with in-laws of other girl friends, really have hard-core old school expectations of their daughter in laws (so much so as they want to live jointly), while their sons are often as “American” as they come. Anyway, I digress…

  14. considering the role of aurangzeb?

    Mr. Christopher Walken, please pick up the white courtesy phone…

  15. and thus culminates a quarter century journey from hey ram to harem. sir ben, when you write your biography, feel free to use this phrase as your title. yes, my heart is as expansive as the QE 2.

  16. Someone who unwittingly called him “Mr Kingsley� at a party received a stinging rebuke. “He looked at me in disgust,� the guest told the Mail, “then said: ‘You should call me Sir Ben

    Er, didn’t that happen in an episode of the Sopranos to Christopher? Or was the episode an inside joke for those who had heard the rumor already?

  17. i thought the only good thing to come out of this crapwarya/little b marriage nonsense is that she would quit acting- apparently i was wrong!

  18. christopher walken and ash would actually be the perfect couple…their mutual woodenness would light up the screen, you know i’m right :)

  19. What I want to see is the death scene…surely, even tmbwitw will look ragged on her fourteenth child delivery?

  20. She moves like an ocean liner…

    In ancient and medieval Indian poetry graceful lovers are often described as moving like an elephant, which could be considered just as odd.

    Gaja Gamini, etc.

  21. Why the hate? Between my wife and the posters here, I don’t understand why people are so negatively biased against Aishwarya. She’s beautiful, has nice breasts, great hips and she won Miss. World. She sounds a lot more intelligent than Ms. South Carolina. I mean what did you expect from beauty pageant winners – PhDs?

    On another note, Mrs. brings up a good point. I do not understand why people are fixated with their last names. For example, my wife wanted to keep her last name. I said well I rather have a consistent last name just for the fact that I am an engineer in the military so I like simplicity and standardization. With that said, she made her middle name her last name which brings me to my point: EVEN THE MIDDLE NAME was a rousing issue. She asked me what my parents would think. I said how would I know, just do it. Nothing came of it but it was interesting she asked.

  22. Why the hate? Between my wife and the posters here, I don’t understand why people are so negatively biased against Aishwarya. She’s beautiful, has nice breasts, great hips and she won Miss. World. She sounds a lot more intelligent than Ms. South Carolina. I mean what did you expect from beauty pageant winners – PhDs?

    Well said !

  23. Mrs.,

    I am not surprised. She married into the Bachan family. Frankly, I’m surprised they have not asked her to stop working altogether. My god, bollywood resembles Indian politics in a sick way…all the nepotism and the like.

    I’m not a hater, but when one family monopolizes (like the Kapoors or Bachans (Bollywood) and the Gandhis (politics)) – it says something about society that does not sit well with me (personally).

    On a side note, the fact that Ms Rai (now Mrs Bachan) is so revered is kinda odd – i know she can’t help but be born with light eyes and light skin and european features…but why is that what we value so much in indian society? spare me the “it’s because she was miss world” explanation…

    I always thought Nandita Das was far more beautiful…

  24. I’m not a hater, but when one family monopolizes (like the Kapoors or Bachans (Bollywood) …

    But is that really the case? You already mentioned two families in your statement. :) And what are they monopolizing? While there’s definitely nepotism, I’m not so sure about the monopolizing part – there are three Khans (all different families) who rule the roost among popular male actors. Rakesh Roshan (and his son) is another family. Johars are yet another, as are Chopras. Bhatts and Feroze Khan. So, there are many families that are in the film-making business and have their own niche.

  25. amit,

    perhaps monopolizing was the wrong word :-) what i meant was…actors who “get in” because of their name vs. talent. of course this happens in hollywood as well as in most other industries…but the way they are revered in indian society just does not sit well with me – sure, raj kapoor is a legend…but do we really need to extend our reverance to his two grandaughters (who are not talented, in my opinion).

  26. campmuir, agreed. Though nepotism has had mixed results. For Kapoor sisters, there’s also Aamir Khan. And SRK made it big without any family connections. But yeah, a good number of actors and actresses do get their break because of family connections.

  27. 46 n#1 wat???? i aint hindu so i dunno. n wtf “Niraj Mancchanda comments “Not only Aishwarya Rai but any girl in the world who continues to write her maiden name before the husband’s surname will always give more priority to her maiden family and the importance to the husband’s family will be secondary after marriage. This is because the maiden surname is written before the husband’s surname.”

    no jus no. n y h8n on aish shez hot not cuz of light skin n stuff. i havnt thought about skin color n stuff bein hot. i seen & know girls of all colors n stuff who hot. so i guess the most basic part of oua brain is color blind. & also ppl who r racist stop demselves from sayn letz say kkk tha some black girlz r hot. could also b hormones 4 me but who cares i lyk alla dem

  28. geez…will this woman not stop? she has to play every single important indian woman in history? she’s been approached for rani laxmibai, gayatri devi (known as TMBWITW forty years ago), akbar’s wife jodha, umrao jaan, and mumtaz? It’s stupid. She can barely emote. bollywood is so annoying nowadays with beautifying everything possible. Your chachi? played by Aamir Khan. Dadi Ma? played by Madhuri Dixit. And what’s with Hrithik Roshan as Akbar? Yes, the guy is sincere, but they’re turning every major player in the past thousand years into light-eyed, light-skinned, mugging for the camera idiots! just look at the smug face of hers in front of the taj. No doubt trying to draw comparisons with another famous photograph of a woman seated alone in front of the taj. TMAWITW – The third letter stands for annoying.

  29. This hit a nerve bcs I have chosen to keep my surname after marriage much to the dismay of my in-laws, who are fairly “progressive” desis living in CA, yet can’t deal with the fact that I haven’t completely given into their family as they see it. My decision to do so was largely based on the fact that I have published under my surname and, sure, it is part of my identity.

    How do you tell if a woman is a feminist or just angry? Thanks Stephen Colbert

  30. but which wife did shah jahan build the taj mahal for?? i think it was for the 3rd, but it might have been the first. both make sense, but i need to know the truth please!!