Dev Patel was recently nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in his latest movie, Lion (directed by Garth Davis), and he has become one of the few actors of Indian origin to be nominated for the Oscars. The actor, who shot to fame with Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008), has spent eight years in the international movie industry. Speaking about his experience, Dev says, “Being an Indian guy, the pond is very small. There are not many roles. You get the usual comedic goofy sidekick [part].”
Although the actor is widely recognised today, Dev says he had a different experience while growing up. “I was teased [in school] for having big ears, but I didn’t mind that. I saw it as a badge of honour. I used to run round the playground pretending that my ears were the FA (Football Association Challenge) Cup handles. I never had a problem making myself popular,” says the actor.
Dev says that he never let the teasing or bullying deter him from achieving his goals and staying focused. “At school, I was bullied by the older kids, but I never experienced any racism,” adds Dev. Speaking about his Indian origin and growing up in Britain, he says, “I’d regularly go to Hindu temples, but the faith was never forced on me.”