Slumdog Millionaire (2008) actor Dev Patel says he often gets criticised for stealing roles from “real Indian” actors.
In an interview to San Francisco Chronicle, Dev, who was born and raised in the UK and has Gujarati parents, opened about the racist remarks he has been receiving in the film industry.
He said: “I get flak sometimes because people will say, ‘Why aren’t they giving these roles to a real Indian?’ I wonder, what does that even mean? The only way I can converse with my grandparents is in Gujarati. Does that make me real enough?”
Raising more questions, the 28-year-old said: “Or am I only allowed to witness the moments of prejudice and racism going through airports? Is that the only bit that I’m allowed of the culture?
“The truth is I’m trying to understand myself better and my heritage, to figure things out, in the movie choices I make. That has been the greatest thing for me in going to India repeatedly.”
Patel is currently gearing up for the release of his film Hotel Mumbai, which also stars veteran actor Anupam Kher.