AceShowbiz - Sir Ben Kingsley inadvertently shamed his Operation Finale co-stars into stepping up their game after arriving at a table read with his lines completely memorised.
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Kroll, who rose to fame as a comedy star, reveals he was stunned by how prepared the British screen icon was for the historical movie, and immediately realised there would be no messing around with Kingsley on set.
"Before you do a movie, there's a table read and everybody reads the movie; you wanna hear it out loud," he explained on breakfast show Good Morning America. "Most people, coming from comedy, we don't take it that seriously.
"Sir Ben showed up to the table read with a leather-bound binder with a script inside, sat down, opened the script and never looked at it once! He was off book at the table read!"
"I show up to table reads for free waters and brownies," Nick quipped, "and he was ready (to shoot). It really sort of set the tone, like, 'You gotta bring it.'"
Kroll insists the whole cast, including Oscar Isaac and Taylor Swift's boyfriend Joe Alwyn, took note of Kingsley leading by example, and the subsequently shoot ended up being an "amazing" experience for all involved.
"For me to work with... one of the great actors of all time was awesome," he added.
Operation Finale, which opens in theatres later this month, chronicles the real life story of the 1960 hunt and capture of former Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, portrayed onscreen by Kingsley, and the shoot couldn't have been more different from Kroll's last film, basketball comedy Uncle Drew, in which he appeared alongside towering sports great Shaquille O'Neal.
"Sir Ben was more intimidating than Shaq...!" Nick laughed. "(Shaq) makes people feel at ease; any room he's in, he's an incredibly warm guy... But honestly, to be able to work with two people who have been such incredible legends in their industry was awesome."