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Dev Patel: Asian actors are stereotyped

Dev Patel: Asian actors are stereotyped
Dev Patel: Asian actors are stereotyped (Image credit: PA Archive/PA Photos)

Dev Patel has claimed Asian actors are limited to certain roles, including terrorists, taxi drivers and geeks. The Slumdog Millionaire and Skins star expected his career to kick off after Danny Boyle's film became the surprise hit of 2009, winning eight Oscars, but was disillusioned by the lack of good roles on offer. "Because Slumdog was such a big hit, there was a lot of pressure in terms of what I did next - for my second film, I wanted a role that would stretch me, but all I was getting offered were stereotypical parts like the goofy Indian sidekick," he told the Mail On Sunday. "Asian actors tend not to be sent Hollywood scripts that are substantial or challenging. I'm likely to be offered the roles of a terrorist, cab driver and smart geek. I want to show that I have versatility." Dev - who next stars in action film The Last Airbender - is hoping to overcome any prejudice. "I'm buzzing with adrenaline and raring to go, but I have to be realistic. Being an Asian actor, it's never going to be easy,' he said. "Before Slumdog, the last film about India that went big at the Oscars was Gandhi, as played by Ben Kingsley. The fact that me and Freida have any kind of platform in Hollywood is a big step forward. "Hopefully the industry is changing and the casting directors will be less focused on colour so people like myself can get through the door." Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk's weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop (opens in new tab)

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.