Being an Asian actor in Hollywood is not a walk in the park, but Indian-origin star Dev Patel, who was catapulted to fame after “Slumdog Millionaire”, says his journey so far has been tough yet he has never been a victim of discrimination.
The 25-year-old British actor says he often has to put in a lot more effort into getting projects and has to work harder than others, but he has been lucky that despite all the negatives, he has managed to make a name for himself.
“One of my mottos is to see obstacle as an opportunity. I don’t mind being an ambassador to my culture. That being said, does it require a bit more hard work to put my foot in to the door? Yes. Do people scrutinize the decisions I make? Yes,” Dev said on the sidelines of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
“I am very lucky. I am not someone who has faced any kind of discrimination in any way. It has been a good journey so far. I am young right now. Let’s see where it takes me.”
Besides his leading role in the multiple Oscar winning movie, Dev has starred in projects like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and its sequel, “Chappie” and “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, which is the opening film of IFFI this year.
He also has a prominent role in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO show “Newsroom”.
“You know Hollywood is becoming more and more diverse. I am really lucky that I rode the wave of this incredible film (Slumdog Millionaire) that opened a lot of doors. The film was bigger than anyone in it.”
Another problem that plagues Asian actors in Hollywood is typecasting and Dev, who played a character named Deon Wilson in Neill Blomkamp’s “Chappie”, says projects like these have made him optimistic about more such roles which defy race.
“People do typecast very easily. Like I said, I have turned something that people might see as negative into something positive. Nell sat down with me and he narrated me the film. I asked him ‘Are you sure you want me for this role?’ And I did the film eventually. So there is little wind like that. It means a lot to me.”