Belfast Telegraph

Dev Patel: My parents always believed in me

Dev Patel has joked that his parents always told him he was "the best" in school plays, even though he was "bad".

The British actor rose to prominence for his role as Anwar Kharral in the UK teen drama Skins, which also starred Nicholas Hoult and Kaya Scodelario. Although the series received critical acclaim, Dev was unsure about the premise in the beginning.

The star realised Skins' popularity further down the line and used it to improve on his rusty acting skills.

"I didn't quite realise how big Skins was going to play a part in getting me to where I wanted to be. I went on that and it was my first TV show and I was pretty cr*p in it to be honest and it was only when it came out and people started talking and reviewed and I realised, 'Hang on, the general public's going to be seeing this.' Because I was used to doing school plays for my parents and no matter how bad I was I was always the best," he told Cover Media.

"When something comes out people are fierce about what they see on their television screens, so I realised I needed to up my game and realised there is more of an art to it than I thought."

Dev's breakout role came when he played Jamal Malik in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. The 21-year-old actor says the part was the chance to prove to people that he could break away from his way-ward teen character in Skins.

"Slumdog, the audition for that there was the perfect opportunity to show I didn't have to be because that's what people saw me as, this nutjob kid high on drugs," he said.

"Slumdog was perfect and I'm glad I got it and was able to show that."

Dev has since become a fixture in Hollywood and is currently promoting his newest film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The movie is about a group of ageing British people who decide to change their lives by travelling to India, where they all stay in the same establishment.

Dame Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith are among the star-studded cast.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is out in the UK now.

© Cover Media

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