British Indian actor Dev Patel has been nominated for an Oscar for his outstanding performance in Lion. The actor, who first rocketed to fame in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, is up for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 89th Academy Awards, which will be held on February 26.
It is Dev’s first Oscar nomination, something many Hollywood actors can only dream of. Lion, directed by Garth David, stars Dev as Saroo Brierly, a young man embarking from Australia to India in order to find his lost family and also stars Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara. It is based on the best-selling autobiography, ‘A Long Way Home,’ written by the real life Saroo Brierley.
The tale centres on a young Saroo who is separated from his family after falling asleep on a train. After many adventures and challenges, he is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. When the film first broke, it instantly began generating Oscar buzz and received rave reviews at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.
Soon after receiving his nomination, Dev told the BBC, ““I’m sitting here with my mouth wide open figuring out how this happened. I’m feeling overwhelmingly grateful right now.”
He told PTI, ““The film has opened people to my potential. After Slumdog Millionaire, it was really hard for me to get quality work. You think it would be easy but it is actually quite a struggle. I felt pigeon-holed.
After Slumdog Millionaire, it was really hard for me to get quality work. You think it would be easy but it is actually quite a struggle. I felt pigeon-holed.
“But I kept working hard and have been patient for many years now. So, when a role like this came, I gave everything that I had to do justice to it. It feels really good when it is recognised.”
The 26-year-old faces stiff competition for the Academy Award however, vying against Mahershala Ali for Moonlight and Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water.