Dev Patel took on Lion role for his mother

Dev Patel took on the role of Saroo Brierley in 'Lion' because he wanted to pay tribute to his own mother

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Dev Patel

Dev Patel

Dev Patel took on his role in 'Lion' for his mother.

The 26-year-old actor stars as Saroo Brierley in the real life drama, a young Indian boy who is separated from his brother and mother when he ends up 1,000 miles away from his home in a Calcutta train station, and has now opened up about how his relationship with his mum influenced him to take on part.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Dev said: "The greatest influence in my life is my own mother, you know, that's how I got into acting. So when I read this [script] I knew that I was going to do this film for her. Because at it's core, it's about love and it's about mothers and sons."

The story of Saroo - who is adopted in the movie by Sue Brierley, played by Nicole Kidman - was so close to Dev's heart that he even turned up to make his interest known before the script had been finished.

Director Garth Davis said: "Dev got wind of this story very early on. We were still writing. He pulls up at Luke's house in his car and walks in like 'Hi, I'm Dev!'

"He was already passionate about this story and wanted to put his hand up. He came for his screen test which was four and a half hours, and he won it fair and square. His performance was beyond."

Meanwhile, Dev recently said he spent "eight months" preparing himself for the role of Saroo, as the "stillness" of his character wasn't something he was used to.

He said: "It required an energy shift. I'm a super-hyperactive kind of dude and the role required a level of stillness.

"Saroo had this emotional pain, this weight.

"I spent eight months prepping and it was all a process of introspection.

"I travelled around India on trains to get a feel of what it would be like, I wrote diaries, I visited orphanages.

"Garth would get me to stare in the mirror for an hour.

"It's amazing what you can see when you stop for a moment and really try to look inside yourself."

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