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Dev Patel: The Talented British Actor Taking Hollywood by Storm

Key Facts About Dev

Full Name Dev Patel
Born April 23, 1990 in Harrow, London, England
Age 33 years old
Height 6‘ 2" (1.88 m)
Partner Tilda Cobham-Hervey (since 2018)
Twitter Dev Patel
Instagram Dev Patel

Dev Patel is a British actor best known for his emotionally powerful performances in films like Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lion, and Hotel Mumbai. He first rose to fame as a teenager playing Anwar Kharral on the hit UK TV series Skins.

But it was his career-making turn in 2008‘s Slumdog Millionaire that catapulted Dev to worldwide stardom. His empathetic portrayal of Jamal Malik won over critics and audiences everywhere. Suddenly, Dev was thrust into the spotlight as an in-demand Hollywood actor.

Early Life in London

Born in London to Indian immigrant parents, Dev actually grew up in the suburbs of Harrow and Rayners Lane. He was raised Hindu but went to a Catholic school – Whitmore High School.

Dev‘s parents, Anita and Raj, worked long hours building up their IT company. From an early age, Dev showed a strong creative side – writing stories, drawing cartoons, even filming short videos around the neighborhood with friends.

At age 8, Dev‘s parents sent him to boarding school in Kent which was hard for the homebody kid. But he adapted quickly and actually credits boarding school for helping him break out of his shell as a teenager.

Discovering A Passion for Acting

Around age 15, Dev started taking an active interest in acting. He performed in school plays and attended weekend acting classes.

Dev loved how acting allowed him to step into different characters and worlds. Classmates remember him as very popular – the funny, charming kid who could always make people laugh.

In 2006, a 17-year-old Dev landed the role of Anwar Kharral on the hit teen series Skins. Dev‘s natural likeability made Anwar stand out on the show. Though a side character, Anwar‘s storylines dealing with his Muslim faith and sexuality connected deeply with fans.

Life-Changing Success with Slumdog Millionaire

Dev‘s big break came in 2008 when famed director Danny Boyle cast him as older Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire. Dev initially read for a smaller part but Boyle was so wowed by the teenage actor‘s screen test that he created a main role for him.

The film, about an orphan from Mumbai competing on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, became a sleeper hit around the world. But most exciting for Dev was how strongly his performance resonated with audiences.

“I remember doing press conferences where people would ask Danny, ‘Why did you hire this random kid?’ After the film released, those same people would come up and say, ‘Now we understand.’ That was really validating.”

Overnight, the unknown London teen found himself attending the Oscars and Golden Globes as a celebrated nominee. He took home numerous Best Newcomer awards. But the fame never went to Dev‘s down-to-earth head.

Maturing Into More Complex Roles

Post-Slumdog, Dev intentionally avoided stereotypical Indian roles, wanting to prove his versatility. He found success in comedies like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, showing his wit and charm as the overwhelmed hotel manager.

But Dev has shone brightest in dramas, embodying characters marginalized by society. His stirring performance in 2016‘s Lion earned him universal praise and an Oscar nomination. Dev dug deep to capture the emotional trauma of Saroo Brierley, separated from family as a child.

“The thing I love about Dev is he isn‘t afraid to stay in the darkness. He really goes there.” – Garth Davis, director of Lion

In Hotel Mumbai, Dev played waiter Arjun with nuance, conveying both the character‘s terror and quiet courage during the attacks.

Now in his 30s, Dev‘s reputation as a serious actor willing to take risks has made him an in-demand leading man.

Upcoming Projects

Dev‘s fans have lots to look forward to! He has two thrilling films coming up:

  • Monkey Man – Dev‘s action movie debut on Netflix about a man‘s search for meaning in a world overrun by corruption and cruelty.
  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain – Dev stars as the eccentric Victorian artist famous for his surreal cat paintings, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.

With Dev‘s talent and choice of bold projects, I have no doubt he will continue captivating critics and audiences for decades to come. It‘s been a joy watching him evolve from a charismatic teenager in Skins to one of the most respected actors today. I can‘t wait to see what he does next!