Sir Ben Kingsley had a very difficult relationship with his mother.

The Oscar-wining actor admits it was hard growing up in his family because his mum - who recently died at the age of 96 - had a "circuit missing" and found it difficult to connect with her children.

He said: "To put it in a nutshell, I am an actor, but my childhood was not full of applause. It was applause-less.

"It was very difficult to read my mother. She had a circuit missing. That made her distant. And somewhat baffled by her four children, two girls and two boys. Thinking perhaps it would all go away soon and life would be simple again. Adulthood? Whoa. She couldn't handle it.

"Her attitude was difficult to cope with. Fibbing. Showing off. Acting all the time. How profoundly can you misconceive one of your own children? It baffles me."

The 66-year-old star admits he felt rejected while growing up but believes it has helped him become the person he is today.

He said: "There must be some kind of compensatory factor in me needing to be seen and heard. It's not narcissistic, and it's not neurotic. It's quite genuine. It's a compulsion. But it has turned into something beautiful, because I have been very fortunate."

However, towards the end of her life, their relationship improved after she gained an understanding of what her son did.

He told Live magazine: "I feel good for her that she'd got through that dreadful clutter and baggage from her own childhood, and blindness and lack of empathy, and suddenly the clouds lifted. She must have been about 90. And she said, 'That's him. There he is.' "