Dev Patel

Dev Patel

23 April 1990 (1990-Template:Pad2digit-Template:Pad2digit) (age 27)
London Borough of Harrow, Greater London, England
Years active

Dev Patel (Gujarati language: દેવ પટેલ; born 23 April 1990) is a British film and television actor. He is known for his performances as Anwar Kharral in the UK television teen drama series Skins and, on a more global scale, as the main male lead Jamal Malik (character) in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed and multiple Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for which Patel won a number of awards, including a Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Early life and education

Patel was born in Harrow, England, to Gujarati Indian parents, both of whom were born in Nairobi, Kenya, where there is a significant Indian community. His parents both emigrated from Kenya separately in their teens, and only met in London. His mother, Anita, is a carer, and his father, Raj, an IT consultant. He has one sibling, an older sister named Komal. He was raised in the Hindu faith.

Patel grew up in Rayners Lane, Harrow, and attended Longfield Middle School. He had his first acting role as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the school's production of Twelfth Night. Patel was given the Best Actor award for his performance and says that was the day he knew he wanted to become an actor.Template:Citation needed He later went to Whitmore High School, receiving an A* in GCSE Drama, for his "self-penned portrayal of a child in the Beslan school siege". During the exam Patel moved his examiner to tears! His drama teacher Niamh Wright has stated: "Dev was a gifted student who quickly impressed me with his innate ability to communicate a wide variety of characters imaginatively and creatively. ... He was awarded full marks for his GCSE performance to a live audience and the visiting examiner was moved to tears by his honest portrayal of a child in the Beslan school hostage crisis in Russia." He eventually completed his AS Levels in PE, Biology, History and Drama in 2007, while he was working in Skins.

Martial arts

Patel said that as a kid, he was "bloody energetic" and used to get in trouble at school because of it. His mottel started training at the Rayners Lane Academy of Taekwon-do in 2000. He competed regularly in both national and international championships, including the 2004 AIMAA (Action International Martial Arts Association) World Championships in Dublin, where he won a bronze medal.The World Championships took place in October 2004, when he was a red belt competing in the junior division against other red and black belts. He made it to the semi-finals, where he lost to a black belt in "a very close and tough fight", and ended up winning a bronze medal. He later gained a 1st dan black belt on 11 March 2006.

Acting career

Skins and early television career

Patel began his acting career in late 2006, when he auditioned for the E4 teen drama television series Skins. Patel's mother saw the casting ad in a newspaper and took him to the audition even though he had a science exam the next day. After two auditions, he was cast in the role of Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager. According to fellow actors Mike Bailey (who played Sid Jenkins) and Hannah Murray (who played Cassie Ainsworth), the characterization of Anwar was partly based on the personality of Patel and the role was written specifically for him after he was cast in Skins. Patel, who had no professional acting experience, said that on "the first day of shooting I didn't really know what to do." The first series of the show aired in January 2007 and went on to win the Rose d'Or for Drama in 2008 and receive a nomination for Best Drama Series at the 2008 BAFTA Television Awards. Patel reprised his role as Anwar for the second series of Skins, which aired in February 2008. The second series of Skins won the Philips Audience Award at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards in April 2009.

2007–2008: Slumdog Millionaire


Patel with Slumdog Millionaire co-star Freida Pinto at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.

Patel made his feature film debut when he was cast in the role of Jamal Malik, the central character in Danny Boyle's film Slumdog Millionaire. The character Jamal Malik is an Indian Muslim boy born and raised in the poverty of Bombay (known now as Mumbai) India. Boyle considered hundreds of young male actors, but found that Bollywood leads were generally "strong, handsome hero-types", not the personality he was looking for. Boyle's 17-year-old daughter Caitlin pointed him to the British television ensemble drama Skins, of which Patel was a cast member. After five auditions for the role, the actor was eventually cast in August 2007. The film's producer found the original choice for the lead role, Ruslaan Mumtaz, too good looking for the role. Boyle said "I wanted a guy who didn't look like a potential hero; I wanted him to earn that in the film." To prepare for the role, Patel went along with Boyle while scouting for filming locations, where he was able to observe the Dharavi slums for himself. He also worked at a call centre for a day and in a hotel, where he washed dishes.

After the release of Slumdog Millionaire at the end of 2008, Patel went on to receive a number of awards for his performance, including a British Independent Film Award, National Board of Review (NBR) Award, Chicago Film Critics Association Award, and two Black Reel Awards for Best Actor and Best Breakthrough Performance. Patel was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2009 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. The award eventually went posthumously to Heath Ledger for his performance in The Dark Knight, though Patel did win the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which he shared with ten other cast members from Slumdog Millionaire. On 8 January 2009, Patel won the Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Performer. He was also nominated for two London Critics Circle Film Awards, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actor, and European Film Award for Best Actor. The film itself won four Golden Globes, including Best Drama Film, and eight Academy Awards.

2008–present: The Last Airbender

In 2008, Patel auditioned for a role in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, a feature film adaptation of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. In February 2009, it was announced that Patel had replaced Jesse McCartney for the role of Prince Zuko, after McCartney's tour dates conflicted with a boot camp scheduled for the cast to train in martial arts. Shyamalan stated that Patel was "already one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw Slumdog Millionaire, and the kid just grew in my eyes". Filming began in March 2009. The film was released July 1, 2010, a day earlier than its originally planned release date to extremely negative reviews.

The Commuter

Dev Patel is due to star in a short film "The Commuter" directed by the McHenry Brothers to promote the Nokia N8 smartphone in the U.K. Fans who won a Nokia UK run competition will be starring alongside Dev Patel in the short film.

Personal life

Patel is currently dating Freida Pinto, alongside whom he starred in Slumdog Millionaire.


Year Title Role Awards Other notes
2007–2008 Skins Anwar Kharral
2009 Mister Eleven Waiter Minor Role
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Jamal Malik
2010 The Last Airbender Prince Zuko Based on Avatar: The Last Airbender
2011 Skins the Movie Anwar Kharral Film adaption of the TV series.

Awards and nominations


  • 2008 Black Reel Award — "Best Actor" — Slumdog Millionaire*2008 Black Reel Award — "Best Breakthrough Performance" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2008 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) — "Most Promising Newcomer" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2008 Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) Award — "Most Promising Performer" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2008 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award — "Break Out On Camera" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2008 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) Award — "Best Breakthrough Performance" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Critics' Choice Award — "Best Young Performer (Actor/Actress)" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Richard Attenborough Film Award — "Best Breakthrough" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Richard Attenborough Film Award — "Rising Star of the Year" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award — "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" — Slumdog Millionaire


  • 2008 Black Reel Award — "Best Ensemble" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2008 Detroit Film Critics Society Award — "Best Newcomer" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 BAFTA Award — "Best Actor in a Leading Role" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Evening Standard British Film Award — "Most Promising Newcomer" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 London Critics' Circle Film Award — "British Actor of the Year" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 London Critics' Circle Film Award — "Young British Performer Of The Year" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 NAACP Image Award — "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award — "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role" — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 MTV Movie Awards — Best Kiss — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 MTV Movie Awards — Breakthrough Performance Male — Slumdog Millionaire
  • 2009 European Film Awards — Best Actor — Slumdog Millionaire

External links

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