“That’s insane, isn’t it? It kind of hits me in waves, but it hasn’t fully sunk in,” reveals Dev Patel about his first ever Oscar nomination. In our recent interview (watch above), he adds, “I was straight on Facetime with my mum, and she was just screaming, and I’ve never seen her so happy… When you see the faces around you, you realize something has just happened. The tectonic plate has shifted.”
Patel contends at the Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor for the film “Lion,” in which he plays the true life role of Saroo Brierley. In the first half of the movie directed by Garth Davis, the young Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost in his home country of India and then adopted by a couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham) in Australia. Patel plays the older Saroo still looking for his family 20 years later.
On playing Saroo, Patel says, “He’s such an incredible young man. My biggest mission was to do justice to his story and to his pain and struggle. There were many sleepless nights. The first scene I shot was the last scene, the climax. I remember the eight months of prep leading up to that with times I would wake up in the night thinking of how I was going to tackle it.”
The role has also brought him nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and upcoming BAFTA Awards. Earlier in his career, his breakthrough performance in “Slumdog Millionaire” was awarded with BAFTA and SAG individual nominations plus a SAG win as part of the Best Film Ensemble. He has starred in the films “The Last Airbender,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” and “Chappie” plus the HBO drama series “The Newsroom.”
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