Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Oscar star takes moko into future

Ben Kingsley dons a full-facial moko to portray the half-Maori war hero Mazer Rackham in the sci-fi epic Ender's Game. Photo / Entertainment Weekly
Ben Kingsley dons a full-facial moko to portray the half-Maori war hero Mazer Rackham in the sci-fi epic Ender's Game. Photo / Entertainment Weekly

A photo of Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley sporting a full-facial moko for his portrayal of a science fiction hero has been released.

Kingsley will play the half-Maori war hero Mazer Rackham in the upcoming sci-fi epic Ender's Game.

A Maori tribal expert worked with the actor, and explained the significance of the moko as a historic record.

"Every gesture in the tattoo carries family history, family struggles - it's your past," Kingsley told Entertainment Weekly. "I was so enthralled. He [Rackham] is in quite a contained, stylised uniform but then this wonderful face tells his warrior history."

The film, which is written and directed by Gavin Hood, is based on American author Orson Scott Card's 1980s bestselling novel.

Kingsley told Entertainment Weekly the process that brings his character to life "is alchemy".

"In the script, which I think is beautifully written, what comes across is the authority and mystery," he said of Rackham.

Ender's Game has a November release date.

- NZ Herald

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