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Dev Patel left frustrated by lack of variety in acting roles

Screen star Dev Patel says he has been frustrated by the lack of roles for actors from diverse backgrounds.

The British actor, 26, shot to fame in Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire and is returning to the big screen alongside Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara in the new movie Lion.

He told Radio Times magazine he tried to create his own work when the right roles were not being offered to him but that the situation was improving.

"You can only go as far as the scripts that are landing on your agent's desk. So, I am trying to be the person who isn't waiting for the phone to ring but can generate their own material.

"We are getting access to more varied roles. There is still a long way to go but I am really confident in the way it's moving right now."

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel star, who lives in Los Angeles, found it tricky to get the kind of work he wanted after Slumdog Millionaire despite the film's huge success.

Casting agents assumed the Skins star, who grew up in Harrow, in north west London, was Indian.

"After Slumdog I found it hard to find substantial follow-ups.

"It's hard when there is nothing good out there that is not your usual goofy best friend/funny sidekick/techie roles, so when a script like this comes by, it's very rare."

He added of Lion: "I've been yearning for a role like this where I can play a young, modern guy.

"It was such a beautiful, profound script and the fact that it is all based on a real story makes it even more incredible."

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