Belfast Telegraph

Dev Patel: Asian actors stereotyped

Dev Patel has claimed Asian actors are limited to certain roles, including terrorists, taxi drivers and geeks.

The Slumdog Millionaire star expected his career to kick off after Danny Boyle's film became the surprise hit of 2009, winning eight Oscars, but was disillusioned by the lack of good roles on offer.

"Because Slumdog was such a big hit, there was a lot of pressure in terms of what I did next - for my second film, I wanted a role that would stretch me, but all I was getting offered were stereotypical parts like the goofy Indian sidekick," he told the Mail On Sunday.

"Asian actors tend not to be sent Hollywood scripts that are substantial or challenging. I'm likely to be offered the roles of a terrorist, cab driver and smart geek. I want to show that I have versatility."

Dev - who next stars in action film The Last Airbender - is hoping to overcome any prejudice.

"I'm buzzing with adrenaline and raring to go, but I have to be realistic. Being an Asian actor, it's never going to be easy," he said.

"Before Slumdog, the last film about India that went big at the Oscars was Gandhi, as played by Ben Kingsley. The fact that me and Freida have any kind of platform in Hollywood is a big step forward. Hopefully the industry is changing and the casting directors will be less focused on colour so people like myself can get through the door."

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