Slum boys trained Dev Patel for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

October 24th, 2008 - 9:49 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 24 (IANS) British Indian actor Dev Patel may have impressed the international audience with his performance as a slum kid in “Slumdog Millionaire”, but playing the boy from Dharavi in Danny Boyle’s movie was a big challenge for him.Dev, who wowed audiences as Anwar Kharral in the teen series “Skins”, was selected as the lead in “Slumdog Millionaire” out of dozens of hopefuls. He had to go through a longish period of training before he was ready to play the role of Jamal in the movie.

“It was a big challenge to play Jamal. We got two kids from the slums. I picked up a lot of characteristics and mannerisms from them. I spent a lot of time with them. They took me around their homes and I got familiar with their personality. I was in Mumbai for about three months to shoot the film. All of it was a huge learning curve for me,” Dev told IANS.

Loosely based on Indian bureaucrat-author Vikas Swarup’s best-selling novel “Q and A”, the film revolves around a slum kid who wins a jackpot on the television quiz show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”.

The film was premiered at the recently concluded Toronto Film Festival and Dev says response at the fest was overwhelming.

“At the world premiere we got a standing ovation. It was an awesome experience. Sure I’ve been popular on television in England, but this (’Slumdog Millioniare’) is a different experience altogether.”

Tell him he’s huge in Britain thanks to “Skins” and he demurs.

“I wouldn’t say I’m huge in Britain. But, yeah, ‘Skins’ has got quite a following in London. I can’t say what ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ would do for me. It’s obviously a big privilege to be working with Danny Boyle. And I’m sure I’ll be looked on differently.”

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