Secret Invasion Star Kingsley Ben-Adir Explains How He Handles Criticism of His Work (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Secret Invasion, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Secret Invasion's Kingsley Ben-Adir offered his thoughts about how much he pays attention to the critical reception of his projects.

The talented actor has been on both sides of the equation.

He played Gravik in the recent Disney+ series, one of Marvel Studios’ lowest-rated projects ever, with a 53% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 47% audience score.

On the other hand, he had a key role in Barbie as one of the Kens—a movie that’s had a significant cultural impact and is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars.

Kingsley Ben-Adir on How He Handles Reception For His Projects

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, and while speaking about his latest film, Bob Marley: One Love, star Kingsley Ben-Adir spoke about how he handles critical and fan reception to his projects.

Ben-Adir has seen both ends of the spectrum recently, with his Disney+ MCU series Secret Invasion getting less than favorable reviews, while Barbie became a bona fide hit.

For him, “the experience of making a movie is why [he does his] work,” and that “once [they] wrap, it’s done:”

“I feel like the experience of making a movie is why I do my work, you know. Once we wrap, it's done. It's over to you guys and over to them. You know, my job is to come in and find a psychological point of view on the character and try and figure out a journey for the story. And then after that, it's really--you take your high as the same way you take your lows.”

As for how different making those big blockbusters was compared to his latest biopic, Ben-Adir related the uniqueness of each down to how each character he portrayed was:

“Well, ‘Secret Invasion’ was exploring a character who wanted to see everyone burn and suffer. Ken, I feel, didn’t really have a brain; he didn’t really have any thoughts of his own. His only purpose in life was to live for [Ryan Gosling’s] Ken. There’s something quite simple about that. And it was very much about Slapstick and physical comedy. Bob [Marley’s] a musical artist, and he’s one of the most loved people on the planet, but I’m not a musician. But they’re all very different.”

The Star of Secret Invasion and Barbie Is On to Something

Kingsley Ben-Adir’s mentality is certainly understandable.

Someone’s experience when working on a project puts things into an entirely new perspective. For them, it's very different than just a brief, fleeting experience seen on a screen—they lived and breathed that project with hundreds of other cast and crew members with whom they grew close.

Most of the time, those involved with any project aren't likely to think about its quality first and foremost but rather the experience they had making it.

Kumail Nanjiani, who previously started in Marvel Studios’ Eternals, recently went on record to share how he had some “trauma” due to the negative reception of his MCU outing. In fact, he even sought out counseling.

The world can be a cruel place, even if there does happen to be truth to something like the critical feedback of a project. It certainly can't be easy being the recipient of millions of people around the world spending their time dunking on them or their work.

While Kingsley Ben-Adir seems like he has that part of the job figured out, one can still hope the reception to Bob Marley: One Love is closer to Barbie than it is to Secret Invasion.

Bob Marley: One Love hits theaters worldwide on February 13.

- In This Article: Secret Invasion
Release Date
June 21, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.