The young British Indian actor who rose to fame with the multi-award winning film Slumdog Millionaire will appear at the Academy Awards in Hollywood this year, not as a presenter but as an Oscar nominee for his ardent roar in the film Lion. Dev’s portrayal of this latest heartbreaking character is highly acclaimed by critics all around the movie world, and the film has earned accolades at several festivals.
The Taekwondo kid with acting prowess:
Dev recalls himself as “bloody energetic” in childhood, winning several medals in martial arts at national and international levels, and many best actor awards during his schooling in London. An audition for the 2007 UK television series Skins landed him the role of Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager. The first series of the show won the Rose D’Or for Drama and a nomination for Best Drama Series at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards in 2008. Patel reprised his role for the second series, which won the Philips Audience Award at the 2009 BAFTA ceremony.
A testing trek:
The journey post-Slumdog has been challenging for Dev. While co-actors Frieda Pinto and Irrfan Khan were each rewarded with a succession of varied roles, Patel was offered only stereotypical South-Asian characters. Critics ripped his major films, while audiences rejected the smaller ones. This difficult phase ended in 2015 when Dev was cast as Sonny Kapoor, hotel manager of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The Man Who Knew Infinity:
Also in 2015, Dev starred in the British documentary “The Man Who Knew Infinity” as Srinivasa Ramanujan, among the greatest yet most unfortunate mathematicians of all time. Critics gave a thumbs-up to this seven-year transition from slumdog to Supernatural Savant, and Dev Patel became the most bankable Indian actor of his age group in the west.
A laudable roar:
It is now almost a decade since the spellbound magic of Slumdog Millionaire, and Dev has come roaring back with Lion, the incredible true story of Saroo Brierley, a child separated from his poor mother in rural Madhya Pradesh. After surviving months on the streets a thousand miles from home, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple, yet is continuously haunted by fading memories of his childhood. The adult Saroo, played by Dev, attempts to find his biological mother. His character is charming and attractive, with immense emotional depth.
Patel has already won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, and has been nominated for the Golden Globe Critics’ Choice award, Screen Actors Guild award, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Dev is on a roll this year, so an Oscar would not be surprising – or will it be?