Dev Patel, Starry Night

“Whether you are an Instagram model or a YouTuber, there is a thirst to talk about your identity, your legend and get likes,” Patel said. “And for me as a young actor in Hollywood, you’re dealing with issues of masculinity, ego, success and fame. That’s what makes this young man a known knight. All that I relate to “

none of these Originally in the cards was Patel, who grew up in the city of Harrow, London as the younger of two children. Both his parents had moved from Nairobi in their teens. His father, Raju, is calm and introverted, while his mother, Anita, is a force of family nature. “She’s a big personality, and she can make the whole room laugh,” Patel told me. “I think my love for playing all these characters has come from them.”

Patel was a hyperactive child, and her parents signed her up for years of martial-arts classes to channel that extra energy. Still, she always had something else to offer, and when her mom saw a casting ad for her “skins,” A teen drama that would supercharge the careers of young actors like Nicholas Hoult and Daniel Kaluya, she inspired him to audition for the role of sex-crazy Anwar.

The show was a hit, but the neighbors got scared. “Putting your child on a TV show and letting him drop out of school at the age of 16 felt like suicide in the community,” Patel said. “While everyone’s kid is stopping to be a doctor or dentist, I’m here on this TV show,” he said, “simulating sex and taking drugs.”

He had never acted on camera before, and “Skins” was a trial by fire. The money was enough to improve their family’s situation—with his first paycheck, Patel bought his sister a new bed—but the show’s large online following cut both ways.

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