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Dev Patel

Dev Patel
File:Dev Patel at PaleyFest 2013.jpg
Patel at the PaleyFest 2013 panel for The Newsroom
Born (1990-04-23) 23 April 1990 (age 25)
Harrow, London, England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 2007–present

Dev Patel (born 23 April 1990)[1][2] is an English actor, best known for playing Jamal Malik in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for which he won a number of awards, including a Critics' Choice Award[3] and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Patel is also known for his role as Anwar Kharral in Skins; as Sonny Kapoor in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; and as Neal Sampat in Aaron Sorkin's HBO show The Newsroom.

Early life

Dev Patel was born in Harrow, London. His mother, Anita, is a caregiver, and his father, Raj, an IT consultant.[4][5] His parents are Gujarati Hindu Indians. Both of them were born in Nairobi, Kenya, where there is a significant Indian community; they emigrated to Britain separately in their teens, but only met first in London.[4][6] Patel was raised in the Hindu faith.[7]

Patel grew up in Rayners Lane, Harrow, and attended Longfield Middle School. He had his first acting role as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the school's production of Twelfth Night.[4] 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".[8] He completed his AS Levels in PE, Biology, History and Drama in 2007, while he was working in Skins at Whitmore High School.

Martial arts

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.[6][9][10] 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.[9] He later gained a 1st dan black belt on 11 March 2006.[11]

Acting career

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.[4] After two auditions, he was cast in the role of Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager.[4] 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.[12] Patel, who had no professional acting experience, said that on "the first day of shooting I didn't really know what to do."[4] 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.[13][14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] Boyle's 17-year-old daughter Caitlin pointed him to Skins.[17][18] After five auditions for the role,[19] the actor was eventually cast in August 2007.[20] The film's producer found the original choice for the lead role, Ruslaan Mumtaz, too good looking for the role.[21] Boyle said, "I wanted a guy who didn't look like a potential hero; I wanted him to earn that in the film."[4] 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.[22][23]

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,[24] National Board of Review (NBR) Award,[25] Chicago Film Critics Association Award,[26] and two Black Reel Awards for Best Actor and Best Breakthrough Performance.[27] 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.[28][29] On 8 January 2009, Patel won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Performer.[3] He was also nominated for two London Critics Circle Film Awards,[30] the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor,[31] the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actor,[32] and European Film Award for Best Actor.[33] The film itself won four Golden Globes,[32] including Best Drama Film, and eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.[34]

Patel played Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, a feature film adaptation of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender,[35][36][37] 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, even though his performance was not badly received that much. Patel starred in the short film The Commuter,[38] which was directed by the McHenry Brothers to promote the Nokia N8 smartphone in the U.K.[39] Fans who won a Nokia UK run competition starred alongside Dev Patel in the short film.[40][41] Patel co-starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), directed by John Madden, with Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. For the role, he had to take lessons in perfecting an Indian-English accent, as his native English accent was so strong the producers felt if he kept the accent the film would be less believable.[42]

From 2012-2014, Patel had a supporting role in the 2012 HBO television series The Newsroom as Neal Sampat, blogger for news anchor Will McAvoy.[43] He also appeared alongside James Franco and Heather Graham in About Cherry, which premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.

Personal life

He began dating his Slumdog Millionaire co-star Freida Pinto in 2009.[44] On December 10, 2014, the couple announced that they had split after nearly six years of dating.[45]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Jamal Malik Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Newcomer
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
2011 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Sonny Kapoor Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2012 About Cherry Andrew
2014 The Road Within Alex
2015 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Sonny Kapoor
2015 Chappie Deon Wilson
2015 The Man Who Knew Infinity Srinivasa Ramanujan Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
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

Video games

Year Title Role
2010 The Last Airbender Zuko (voice)

Awards and nominations




  1. "Dev Patel". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  2. "Dev Patel Biography". Tribute. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Nominees | 14th Annual Critics Choice Awards". VH1. 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Burrows, Tim (2008-12-01). "Slumdog Millionaire: Dev Patel hits the jackpot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  5. Tilley, David (2009-01-20). "Slumdog Millionaire starring Dev Patel scoops nine Oscar nominations". Harrow Observer. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Feinberg, Scott (interviewer); Patel, Dev (actor) (2008-10-15). Podcast: Scott puts "Slumdog" star Dev Patel back in the hot seat! (MP3). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  7. "Dev Patel proud of quirks". NZ City. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  8. Brady, Tara; Okyere, Elaine (2009-01-15). "Dev Patel praised by teachers". Harrow Observer. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "AIMAA World Championships". Rayners Lane Taekwon-do Academy. 2004-10-24. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  10. Dwyer, Michael (2009-01-10). "Mumbai millionaire". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  11. "Dan Grades achieved at Rayner Lane Taekwon-do Academy Black Belt Gradings". Rayners Lane Taekwon-do Academy. 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  12. Bailey, Mike (actor); Murray, Hannah (actor) (2008-08-08). Cast weighs in on...Anwar (SWF). BBC America. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  13. West, Dave (2008-05-07). "'Skins' wins Rose d'Or for best drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  14. Gibson, Owen (2008-03-19). "Cranford wins three Bafta nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  15. "Philips Audience Award". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  16. Lane, Anthony (2008-12-01). "Slumdog Millionaire: The Film File". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Roston, Tom (2008-11-04). "'Slumdog Millionaire' shoot was rags to riches". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2008-11-12. [dead link]
  18. Finlay, Nicki (reporter); Boyle, Danny (director); Patel, Dev (actor) (2008-11-05). Prepare to Slum It With Slumdog Millionaire (SWF). Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  19. "Dev's harrowing Slumdog experiences". Metro. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  20. Dawtrey, Adam (2007-08-30). "Danny Boyle to direct 'Slumdog'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  21. "Ruslaan too good to be a slumdog!". Hindustan Times. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  22. Vieira, Meredith (interviewer); Patel, Dev (actor); Pinto, Freida (actor) (2008-11-21). Dancing With the 'Slumdog' Stars (SWF). Today. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  23. Yount, Stacey (2008-11-21). "'I wanted his eyes to say everything.' – Dev Patel". Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Winners Announced for the 11th British Independent Film Awards". British Independent Film Awards. 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 Murray, Rebecca (2008-12-05). "NBR Chooses 'Slumdog Millionaire' as the Best Film of 2008". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Chicago Film Critics Awards – 2008". Chicago Film Critics Association. 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 "Cadillac, Slumdog & Bees are Triple Threats At Black Reed Awards". Daily Express. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  28. "'Slumdog' cast wins, 'Button' gets zip at SAG Awards". CNN. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  29. "Nominations Announced for the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2009-03-26. [dead link]
  30. Wootton, Dan (2009-02-05). "Slumdog's Dev misses out on awards". News of the World. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  31. King, Susan (2009-01-07). "Tyler Perry gets double NAACP noms". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. [dead link]
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Farndale, Nigel (2009-02-06). "Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel: an underdog no more". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  33. "Nominations for the European Film Awards 2009". European Film Academy. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  34. Horn, John (2009-02-23). "'Slumdog' strikes it rich with 8 Oscar wins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  35. Earle, Alison (presenter); Patel, Dev (actor) (2009-02-05). Miley Cyrus says sorry and Dev Patel's next film (SWF). ITN. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  36. Fleming, Michael (2009-02-01). "Shyamalan cast floats on 'Air'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  37. Fernandez, Jay A. (2009-03-15). "Four more land 'Airbender' roles". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-03-26. [dead link]
  38. Schroeder, Stan. "'The Commuter': A Short Film Shot Entirely With the Nokia N8". 28 October 2010
  39. "Nokia N8 Product page". 
  40. "Official Nokia UK Facebook announcement". 
  41. "Dev Patel stars in film shot entirely with the Nokia N8". Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  42. Doshi, Riddhi (3 March 2011). "Dev Patel had to take lessons in English". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  43. "New Drama Series The Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer Debuts 24 June,, 19 June 2012". 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  44. Susan Wloszczyna (29 March 2011). "Freida Pinto, Dev Patel: Like something out of a movie". USA Today. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  45. Marquina, Sierra (December 10, 2014). "Freida Pinto, Dev Patel Split After Almost Six Years Together -- Get All the Details". Us Magazine. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  46. Maxwell, Erin (2008-12-16). "Phoenix critics honor 'Slumdog'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  47. Torrance, Kelly Jane (2008-12-19). "Oscar race for best film wide open". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  48. 48.0 48.1 "Slumdog dominates UK film awards". BBC News. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  49. Sanford, James (2008-12-18). "Detroit Film Critics Society announces its awards". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 

External links

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