Dev Patel is writing “an anthem for youth”.
The Lion actor has turned his attention to crafting his own screenplays and is currently working on a “hyper-modern” action film which is based on Hindu mythology tales.
He said: “I’m writing a hyper-modern action film, based on 5,000-year-old Hindu mythology, set in a heightened Bombay – an anthem for youth.”
The 26-year-old star never studied acting as a youngster but instead has honed his craft from working with “great directors” and co-stars such as Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, and Nicole Kidman.
He told Observer New Review magazine: “[My co-stars] have a curiosity about life, a sense of humor and emotional reserve. I never went to acting school. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from great directors and my co-stars. Acting is about honesty. When I began, I was trying to squeeze as much emotion out of roles as I could and get big laughs. Now it’s about doing less, cutting away the fat.”
As he gets older, the former Skins star is keen to show his “emotional range” and felt portraying Saroo Brierley, who tries to trace his Indian birth family after being adopted by an Australian couple, was the perfect role to do that.
He said: “I’m 26 and, like most actors my age, hungry to show emotional range. This role enabled me to play a character suffering real pain, a change from the scripts that want you as a funny sidekick. It took eight months to prepare. I wanted to commit every fibre of my being to getting it right. I had to bulk up, grow my hair, learn the accent. At my last audition, where I met the director Garth Davis, I’d been in ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ and was skinny, with a buzzcut. I had to get myself a personal trainer and started eating like a glutton – downing the protein shakes.”