With final Oscar voting about to kick off on Feb. 13, nominees are busy making appearances to promote their candidacies. On Wednesday (Feb. 9), Dev Patel dropped by “The Tonight Show” to chat with Jimmy Fallon about his Supporting Actor bid for “Lion.” Although he headlined the 2008 Best Picture champ “Slumdog Millionaire,” this is the first Oscar nomination for Patel who’s also contended at the Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA this awards season.
Garth Davis‘ hit film “Lion” tells the true story of Saroo Brierley, who, as a young boy, was separated from his family in India and adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham). In the first half of the film, Sunny Pawar plays Saroo as a boy and then Patel takes over when we see him 20 years on as he embarks on a search for his family.
As Patel explains to Fallon, “Saroo grows up in a very poor background in India. One day, he goes scavenging for food on a train with his brother, and they get split apart. He gets locked in this carriage, and by the time he gets out, he’s in another part of the country he doesn’t know.” And, he continues, “when Google Earth comes out, he decides to try and use this new technology of the time to try and find his birth mother again.”
Patel plans to take his mother to the Oscars as a thank you for her unflagging support of his career since he started out at just age 16 on the Brit hit TV drama “Skins.” However, he does admit to being slightly nervous that she will say the wrong thing. He recounts, with mock horror, her verbal faux pas at the BAFTAS back in 2009. “She was talking to Daniel Craig about how much she loves James Bond. She said, ‘You’re my favorite bond, Pierce, I just think you’re fantastic!’ She thought he was Pierce Brosnan. He very graciously corrected her.”
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