Dev Patel Got a "Pretty Woman"-Style Makeover for the "Slumdog Millionaire" Red Carpet

Dev Patel, who landed his first on-screen role in the cult British teen drama "Skins," recalls his first major red carpet — at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the then-17-year-old actor premiered "Slumdog Millionaire." That was the moment he went from high street to high fashion, à la Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman." Get to know Patel — and his cinematic crushes, from Rooney Mara to Bruce Lee — in his screen test.

Released on 4/3/2017

Transcript

00:03
So first TV show I ever auditioned for,
00:06
my mum saw an advert in the back of this newspaper
00:09
called the Metro, which is a free newspaper
00:11
on all the trains in London.
00:12
She tore it out and dragged me to this open casting.
00:15
I was 16 years old, and I was very reluctant.
00:18
I was in my school uniform, with my mum.
00:20
We waited outside the National Youth Theatre in London,
00:23
and it was for this TV show called Skins.
00:26
I did get it, yes, so it was a success.
00:28
I played this character called Anwar.
00:31
I was wildly hyperactive,
00:34
and he's kind of like that little chihuahua
00:36
that keeps humping your leg.
00:37
Very sexually charged, and was trying to do
00:40
anything to lose his virginity.
00:42
I did Slumdog when I was 17.
00:46
Yeah, the film festival in Toronto was insane.
00:49
I remember rocking up in my school shoes,
00:51
and I had this terrible suit that I'd found
00:54
on the High Street with my mum.
00:56
My co-star, Freida's beautiful, very glamorous,
00:59
kinds of well-styled young lady.
01:01
We can't have this kid walking down the carpet with her.
01:04
He's just spoiling the whole picture,
01:06
so they gave me a suit, fixed me up a little.
01:10
It's a bit of Pretty Woman, I guess.
01:12
Felt like Julia Roberts.
01:13
So Lion came about, well I just,
01:16
I heard on the grapevine of this incredible true story
01:20
about this young boy who was torn away from his family
01:23
and hurtled across India on these trains.
01:26
It's a beautiful true story.
01:27
And at its core it's a mothers-and-son story,
01:30
and as you can see I'm harping on about my mum,
01:33
which you know, that's something that would
01:34
really resonate with me.
01:35
I had to audition.
01:36
It was a six-hour audition.
01:38
Five and a half hours in, we'd done everything
01:40
on the page that we needed to, and he's like,
01:41
Look, I'm gonna put some music on,
01:43
and I want you to completely lose yourself,
01:47
and just scream, and let out all the pain
01:50
and the history that you've been
01:51
carrying as this character.
01:53
And I was like, okay, let's do it.
01:56
I fall in love really easily.
01:58
I gotta say, cinematic crush,
02:01
it's pretty mesmerizing working with Rooney.
02:04
She's got this very old-world charm,
02:05
and she's the complete opposite spectrum
02:08
to the energy that I bring.
02:09
I'm like this big goofy Labrador,
02:11
and she's this like quiet, but really strong presence.
02:15
It was beautiful working her and kind of watching.
02:18
And so her, and probably also Bruce Lee.
02:22
He looked sexy in that yellow jumpsuit.
02:26
I remember having a very awkward kiss
02:28
with a girl in the playground,
02:31
who I really had a big crush on.
02:34
Her name was Kelly, I've forgotten her second name.
02:36
She used to suck her thumb.
02:38
It was a very weird kiss, and then all my friends
02:40
were like, ew, you kissed a girl.
02:42
That was one, but my first proper kiss
02:44
was probably on screen somewhere in Skins.
02:47
It was my first kiss, my first sex scene,
02:49
all of that in one go.
02:52
I was damn nervous, I'd never had sex before
02:54
and I was simulating it in front of a camera.
02:56
I was like, up all night watching James Bond
02:58
trying to be romantic, and then all of a sudden
03:00
they're like, more chihuahua.