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Patel in 2016
23 April 1990 |
Harrow, London, England
Dev Patel (born 23 April 1990) is an English actor. He made his screen debut as Anwar Kharral in the first two seasons of the British teen drama television series Skins (2007–2008), landing the role with no prior professional acting experience. His breakthrough came in 2008 with the leading role of Jamal Malik in Danny Boyle's drama Slumdog Millionaire, for which he was nominated for the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
Patel went on to star in the highly successful romantic comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) and its 2015 sequel, the fantasy film The Last Airbender (2010), and the science fiction film Chappie (2015). His portrayal of Neal Sampat on the HBO television series The Newsroom (2012–2014) earned him a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2015, Patel starred as the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan in the biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity, and the following year he played Saroo Brierley in the drama Lion (2016). For the latter, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Award, SAG Award, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Dev Patel was born in London, England. His mother, Anita, is a caregiver, and his father, Raj, an IT consultant. His parents are Gujarati Hindu Indians. Both of them were born in Nairobi, Kenya, where there is a significant Indian community; they emigrated to England separately in their teens, but only met first in London. Patel was raised in the Hindu faith.
Patel grew up in Rayners Lane, Harrow, and attended Longfields Middle School. He had his first acting role as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the school's production of Twelfth Night. Patel was given the Best Actor award for his performance. He later attended Whitmore High School, receiving an A* in GCSE Drama, for his "self-penned portrayal of a child in the Beslan school siege".
His drama teacher Niamh Wright has stated: "Dev was a gifted student who quickly impressed me with his innate ability to communicate a wide variety of characters imaginatively and creatively. He was awarded full marks for his GCSE performance to a live audience and the visiting examiner was moved to tears by his honest portrayal". He completed his AS Levels in PE, Biology, History and Drama in 2007 at Whitmore High School, while he was working in Skins.
Patel said that as a kid, he was "bloody energetic" and used to get in trouble at school because of it. He started training at the Rayners Lane Academy of Taekwon-do in 2000. He competed regularly in both national and international championships, including the 2004 AIMAA (Action International Martial Arts Association) World Championships in Dublin, where he won a bronze medal. The World Championships took place in October 2004, when he was a red belt competing in the junior division against other red and black belts. He made it to the semi-finals, where he lost to an Irish black belt named Niall Fitzmaurice in "a very close and tough fight", and ended up winning a bronze medal. He later gained a 1st dan black belt on 11 March 2006.
In 2006, Patel began his acting career when he auditioned for the E4 teen drama television series Skins. Patel's mother saw the casting ad in a newspaper and took him to the audition even though he had a science exam the next day. After two auditions, he was cast in the role of Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager. The characterisation of Anwar was partly based on Patel's personality and the role was written specifically for him after he was cast in Skins. Patel, who had no professional acting experience, said that on "the first day of shooting I didn't really know what to do."
The first series of the show aired in January 2007 and went on to win the Rose d'Or for Drama in 2008 and receive a nomination for Best Drama Series at the 2008 BAFTA Television Awards. Patel reprised his role as Anwar for the second series of Skins, which aired in February 2008. The second series of Skins won the Philips Audience Award at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards.
Patel made his feature film debut when he was cast in the role of Jamal Malik, the central character in Danny Boyle's film Slumdog Millionaire. The character Jamal Malik is an Indian Muslim boy born and brought up in the poverty of Bombay, India. Boyle considered hundreds of young male actors, but found that Bollywood leads were generally "strong, handsome hero-types", not the personality he was looking for. Boyle's 17-year-old daughter Caitlin pointed him to Skins.
After five auditions for the role, the actor was eventually cast in August 2007. The film's producer found the original choice for the lead role, Ruslaan Mumtaz, too good looking for the role. Boyle said, "I wanted a guy who didn't look like a potential hero; I wanted him to earn that in the film." To prepare for the role, Patel went along with Boyle while scouting for filming locations, where he was able to observe the Dharavi slums for himself. He also worked at a call centre for a day and in a hotel, where he washed dishes.
After the release of Slumdog Millionaire at the end of 2008, Patel went on to receive a number of awards for his performance, including a British Independent Film Award, National Board of Review (NBR) Award, Chicago Film Critics Association Award, and two Black Reel Awards for Best Actor and Best Breakthrough Performance. Patel was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2009 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. The award eventually went posthumously to Heath Ledger for his performance in The Dark Knight, though Patel did win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which he shared with ten other cast members from Slumdog Millionaire. On 8 January 2009, Patel won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Performer. He was also nominated for two London Critics Circle Film Awards, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actor, and European Film Award for Best Actor. The film itself won four Golden Globes, including Best Drama Film, and eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Patel played Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, a feature film adaptation of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was released 1 July 2010 to extremely negative reviews. Despite being a commercial success, the film was a critical failure and Patel even received a Razzie Award nomination as Worst Supporting Actor that year, although his role was well received, and was considered by many to be one of the film's positive aspects.
Patel later starred in the short film The Commuter, which was directed by the McHenry Brothers to promote the Nokia N8 smartphone in the U.K. Fans who won a Nokia UK run competition starred alongside Dev Patel in the short film. Patel co-starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), directed by John Madden, with Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith, which received positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $136 million. For the role, he had to take lessons in perfecting an Indian-English accent, as his native English accent was so strong.
From 2012 to 2014, Patel had a supporting role in the 2012 HBO television series The Newsroom as Neal Sampat, blogger for news anchor Will McAvoy. He also appeared alongside James Franco and Heather Graham in About Cherry, which premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2014, Patel starred alongside Robert Sheehan and Zoë Kravitz in the film, The Road Within, about three unlikely friends, one with Tourette's syndrome (Sheehan), one with OCD (Patel) and an anorexic woman (Kravitz) who go on a road trip. The film received generally mixed reviews. Variety had positive words for the "bristling and committed performances by Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel and Zoe Kravitz" while noting that "there remains a nagging tidiness to the whole endeavor that leaves a strained, cloying aftertaste" that kept the movie from truly succeeding.
In 2016, Patel starred as Saroo Brierley in the biographical film Lion, directed by Garth Davis and co-starring Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, which premiered to rave reviews and "Oscar buzz" at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is based on the non-fiction novel written by Brierley titled A Long Way Home. Patel won the BAFTA awards for 'Best Supporting Actor'. At the 89th Academy Awards, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Lion.
|2008||Slumdog Millionaire||Jamal Malik||Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer
National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Freida Pinto)
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Male Breakthrough Performance
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
|2010||The Last Airbender||Zuko||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor|
|2012||The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||Sonny Kapoor||Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2014||The Road Within||Alex|
|2015||The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||Sonny Kapoor|
|2016||The Man Who Knew Infinity||Srinivasa Ramanujan|
|2016||Only Yesterday||Toshio (voice)||English dub of 1991 Japanese film|
|2016||Lion||Saroo Brierley||AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award
Pending—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
|2017||Hotel Mumbai||In post-production|
|2007–2008||Skins||Anwar Kharral||18 episodes|
|2009||Mister Eleven||Hotel Waiter||Episode "1.1"|
|2012–2014||The Newsroom||Neal Sampat||22 episodes
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
|2010||The Last Airbender||Zuko|
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