Profile - Dev Patel
- Kaleem Aftab
- 22 January 2009
Name Dev Patel
Born London. April 1990
Background Raised in Harrow, Dev turned to drama when his exuberance got him into trouble at school. He was a natural, performing in a school production of Twelth Night. Indeed, drama was the only subject for which he received a grade A at GCSE level. It was his mother who saw an advert for a Channel 4 sitcom and told her son to ‘knock ‘em dead’. Dev did what he was told, auditioning to play ‘the coolest Muslim on the block’ for a show called Skins. Playing gorgeous Anwar, he would rarely be seen with his shirt on.
What’s he up to now? Danny Boyle went to India in search of a rising Indian star to play the lead in Slumdog Millionaire, a screen adaptation of Vikas Swarup’s novel Q and A. Returning empty handed, Boyle’s daughter suggested he audition Patel. The 18-year-old mesmerised the Trainspotting director and has since been wowing critics. Patel’s already been awarded a BIFA (British Independent Film Award) for most promising newcomer and the US National Board of Review named him Best Male Breakthrough Performance of the Year.
What he says about India ‘I first went when I was ten years old for a family wedding in Gujarat. I was a kid, and I didn’t enjoy it in the slightest to be honest. I got bitten to death by mosquitoes and I had diarrhoea. I said I’m never coming back to India again. Sods Law, I land a part in a movie shooting in Mumbai. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the place. It’s got such vibrancy and there are so many people: it’s shocking. As soon as you step off the plane, it’s a shock to all the senses, the air smells different; the heat hits you like a brick wall; the noise is crazy. Now I can’t wait to get back.’
Interesting Fact Dev Patel is a black belt in tae kwon do and won a bronze medal in the tae kwon do World Championships.
Slumdog Millionaire is out now on general release.