Will Dev Patel be the first Indian actor to win an Oscar?

LION, Dev Patel, BAFTA, Award for Best Actor
LION, Dev Patel, BAFTA, Award for Best Actor

The Oscars have made news this year not simply because one movie has been nominated more times than ever, (yes, we are talking about La La Land) but also because Dev Patel, the actor of Indian Origin who made his name in Slumdog Millionaire has been nominated for an Oscar. Let’s be honest, with the current movies that Bollywood is pumping out, someone like Dev Patel is our only hope for an Oscar.

The last Indian we know who won the Oscars was Ben Kingsley, who won the academy award in 1983 for his performance in Gandhi.

Patel said, “It’s time an Indian won the Oscar.” In fact, the last time an actor of Indian descent was nominated for an Oscar for acting was 13 years ago when Kingsley got the nod for “House of Sand and Fog”.

Drawing a comparison with African-American actors, he said, “The storytelling is where you want the diversity. But we’re on the cusp of something. When you look at the African-American struggle in cinema, you’ve got these beacons like Sidney Poitier and Will Smith, and Denzel and Samuel L Jackson. Now tell me, how many Indians have gone on and won Oscars?”
Even if Patel misses the big prize, India’s chances are encouraging. “Lion” is based on the real-life story of an Indian street kid who is adopted by Australians and later locates his biological mother in Madhya Pradesh. The movie is based on Saroo Brierley’s book “A Long Way Home” and is nominated in six categories, including best supporting actress, best film, cinematography and original music score. Patel plays Saroo while Mumbai child actor Sunny Pawar plays his younger version. The film, directed by Garth Davis, stars Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mother.


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