Ben Kingsley rocks a pretty massive face tattoo in this weekend’s big theatrical release, “Ender’s Game,” and it turns out that he’s not just wearing it for style points.
“I was quite privileged to wear these. Seriously, ladies and gentlemen,” Kingsley said while appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Wednesday. “They are Maori tattoos. They’re called Tā moko, and the tattoo gives you the lineage for your whole family, your status as a warrior. In my case, my father’s status as a warrior. All his forbears, it’s all mapped out in the face. so when you greet a Maori, you know their history.”
Kingsley plays Mazer Rackham, a half-Maori New Zealander military man who has saved mankind from an alien invasion in the past, and is tasked with training Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) to become Earth’s next great military commander.
“So when you greet a Maori, you know their history. There’s not a lot of handshaking and sharing of family photographs,” Kingsley joked. “You just stare at each other and read their faces.”
Although the Maori culture is centuries old, Kimmel realized they were actually way ahead of their time, and were early pioneers of social networking.
“It’s like Facebook on your face,” Kimmel said.