London: Ben Kinglsey, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Gandhi, says he played the iconic role because he wanted to feel close to a father figure.
The 70-year-old actor, who had a tough childhood because of his absent father, said portraying the leader of India's non-violent independent movement against Britain in 1982 movie 'Gandhi' helped him to plug the gap of his missing parent, reported Contactmusic.
"At the time I just felt that Bapu (an affectionate nickname for Gandhi, meaning dad) was something I needed. 'I need you Gandhiji. Because you are something that's missing in my life'," he said.
Kingsley, whose birth name is Krishna Bhanji, said playing other strong character has enabled him to fill a vacuum in his life created by his tough upbringing.
"I am actually filling a vacuum with the fathers that I play. By playing Gandhi, Itzhak Stern, Massoud Behrani, I am filling the vacuum in me. In little Krishna," he added.