Casting Kingsley in any role would be a blessing; He is one of the best players of his generation, extremely playful and has some of the widest range to be found anywhere. But casting him as Salvador Dalí was pretty smart. While researching “Dalíland,” Harron found the painter and sculptor to be childish and cowardly; These qualities, he said, were associated with Trevor Slattery in “Iron Man 3.” Before watching that movie, he had a hard time imagining Kingsley in this role:
“I remember his manager suggesting it, ‘But he’s so strong!’ I was thinking of ‘Sexy Monster’ and ‘Gandhi’. And Dalí was a tremendous coward! He was like a child in many ways and a hypochondriac. We were also watching ‘Iron Man 3,’ where he was a scary character and then the cowardly British actor played Trevor and he was so funny. Another thing about Ben is that he’s fearless and he said: ‘I’m scared of playing Salvador Dali.’ “But he’s really going to go out there and take on an icon that a lot of people don’t want to do.”
At the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022, The Wrap reportedHarron made similar comparisons, noting that he had never seen Kingsley play such a wide-ranging comedic role before. “He was great,” he said, “But we hadn’t seen that side of him. And we said, ‘Wow, he’s so loose and funny and ridiculous,’ and that was Dalí.”
Kingsley returns to role as Trevor Slattery for MCU movie “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” It was just as funny the second time.