SIR Ben Kingsley used a stash of photographs he picked up on the set of Schindler's List in Krakow, Poland, to inspire his makeover as Dickensian Jew FAGIN in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist.

The Oscar winner is virtually unrecognisable as pickpocket Fagin in the new movie, and he credits old photographs of late 19th century Jews with his amazing transformation.

He explains, "When I was filming Schindler's List I bought some sepia photographs in a store in the Jewish quarter of late 19th century Jews in Krakow.

"They had wonderful faces, extraordinary clothes... and I was very fond of them. They were part of the performance in Schindler's List.

"I loved them and I wanted them to be part of my Fagin too."

As for Fagin's moth-eaten costume, Kingsley called on an old antiques dealer friend to give him the perfect look.

He adds, "The costume came from a junk dealer I met as a child - he sold foreign coins, stamps, old musical instruments, clothing.

"I used to go and buy things from him I was fascinated by him. He wore three overcoats tied together with a piece of rope, just like I do as Fagin."