The RSC is a major British theatre company, based in Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The actor was born Krishna Bhanji to a British actress mother and Gujarati Indian father who was a doctor. However, fearing his Asian moniker might hold him back, he changed his name in the late Seventies, as his stage acting career kicked off.

Kingsley, who won an Oscar for his performance as Gandhi in 1982, revealed the criticism and discrimination he has faced throughout his career has proven to be a great motivator.

In a candid interview with the Press Association, Kingsley shared: "I was told by a very senior director at the Royal Shakespeare company that he felt that I would always play servants, and never play kings and leading men, politicians, leaders of their country."

And he added: "You know, I think the best service somebody can do to me as an individual is tell me what I can't do, and I'll do it."

Kingsley has gone on to play world leaders, politicians, doctors and not very many servants in his stellar career, and credits his drive to an urge to prove the naysayers wrong.

"If you are aware that people might have limits on your expectations, personally I’ve found that exciting and a great spur because I will always say, ‘Oh yes I can’. I’ve always found that a joyful experience," he teased.

The 72-year-old is currently starring as Sikh taxi driver and driving instructor Darwan Singh Tur in film Learning to Drive, alongside The Maze Runner actress Patricia Clarkson, who stars as his student and friend. Despite his long and varied career, the actor said he has never seen a Sikh in a leading role.

"I’ve never seen it at all," he shared. "I don't think I’ve even seen it on the screen in India, in an Indian film, a leading character who is a Sikh. So for it to be that specific, I thought was a great choice."

Kingsley said the Sikh community were extremely helpful as he researched the role: "Gracious, unassertive, proud, very secure in their skin," he said. "Wonderful people. Yes, I learnt a lot from them."

Learning to Drive is now showing in U.K. theatres.