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Oscar-Winning Actor Says Female Directors Are Often Better At Directing Men

Sir Ben Kingsley, the Oscar-winning star of Gandhi, has encouraged the film industry to make "broader choices" and hire more female directors.

During an interview with The Observer, Kingsley called it a "terrible imbalance" that he has only worked with "possibly four" female directors during his prolific acting career.

Kingsley, pictured with Isabel Coixet, the director of his latest film Learning to Drive, argued that women are often better at directing men because they have a greater understanding of male vulnerability.

"I do feel that it is through the prism, the lens, the perspective of the female eye – the loving female eye – that a man is almost given permission to be vulnerable," Kingsley told The Observer.

He added: "There’s only one male director – possibly two – who really gets this and understands its value as a currency, as a character trait, as something that has its place in our humanity and must always have."

The "terrible imbalance" in Kingsley's career is sadly reflected across the film industry. A 2014 report by British film-maker Stephen Follows found that just 5% of the 2,000 highest-grossing films of the past two decades were directed by women. Meanwhile, only one woman, The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow, has ever won the Best Director prize at the Oscars.