Sir Ben Kingsley used his family's nicknames to create his stage name.

The 71-year-old actor, whose real name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji, opted to changed his moniker long before finding fame and sought inspiration from the affectionate ways people used to address his father and grandfather.

The Oscar winner said: ''My childhood nickname was Cupid. My stage name comes from family nicknames. Ben was my dad's nickname. Kingsley is from my grandfather's nickname, King Clove.''

Meanwhile, the 'Learning to Drive' star claims he doesn't really enjoy taking time off.

He said: ''My favourite way to spend a lazy day is being unlazy. I much prefer to be as productive as possible.''

But when he isn't working, Ben enjoys being outdoors.

He said: ''Landscape design and gardening are my secret talents. I'm very ambitious about them. Still, I wish I had a green thumb. I'm working toward my own English garden.''

The actor also enjoys cooking for his wife, Daniela Lavender, and drinking tea.

He told Us Weekly magazine: ''I love tea. My personal favourites are English breakfast, Yorkshire, Kenya and Irish breakfast.

''My wife is my food critic. I love to make anything that wins her approval.

''If I could eat food every day it would be vegetable curry because of all the variety.''