Dev Patel defied stereotypes

Dev Patel was desperate not to be typecast as "the funny Indian", according to 'Lion's director Garth Davis

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Dev Patel

Dev Patel

Dev Patel didn't want to be typecast as "the funny Indian".

The 26-year-old actor was keen to play a "real" role which is why he decided to audition for Oscar-nominated movie 'Lion', according to its director Garth Davis.

He said: "My challenge was how to get Dev Patel to deliver a social-realist performance. As a person, he is amazing.

"He was keen to do a different role and didn't want to be typecast as the funny Indian. He wanted to play a 'real' role. I think we met at the right time, and he worked hard on the role as well."

And Garth is "thrilled" to see the film has received a number of nominations at this month's Academy Awards but admits he is a little "disappointed" he missed out on a nod in the Best Director category.

He shared: "It's incredible to see how well the film has been received. I am happy that the Academy has recognised the [crew's] passion. I am proud of the fact that through the nominations, the film will have a chance to reach more people and get a wider release. To me, that is the real benefit of the nominations.

"A part of me is probably disappointed, but who can be disappointed when your film gets nominated for Best Picture award? None of the nominations would have happened without me, so, I feel like I am in those nominations. I get my joy from mothers and fathers and refugees who write to me saying how much the film has moved them. They are my nominations."

Meanwhile, Garth admits it was tricky to make a movie which was based on a true story.

He told the Hindustan Times: "It's a catch-22, as on one hand, this story was so amazing, and you had access to real people who could add to the script and add dimension to the characters. But you also have a huge responsibility to present their lives in a way that is respectful and honest."

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