Dev Patel triumphs over The Green Knight and embraces every role as a journey: NPR


At the beginning of the new movie green knightGawain Dev Patel is the stubborn nephew of King Arthur. He’s not a knight yet and he has a lot to prove.

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At the beginning of the new movie green knightGawain Dev Patel is the stubborn nephew of King Arthur. He’s not a knight yet and he has a lot to prove.

A 24

Dev Patel can kind of imagine what it was like when I sat with the Knights of the Round Table – he felt that way on his first red carpet, and to some extent, he still feels that way now.

“You are surrounded by all these wonderful legends, these knights are among us,” he says.

In the new movie green knightDev Patel plays young Gawain, the nephew of the famous King Arthur. It is adapted from the poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, one of the most famous stories in the legend of King Arthur.

“I could really relate to this young man who was really ambitious and thirsty for belonging,” he says.

Originally, the mysterious green knight approaches King Arthur at his Christmas round table and issues a challenge: he will stand still while one of Arthur’s knights deals a blow at him. After one year, this knight should stand still while the green knight returns the eyeball. Gawain accepts the challenge and beheads the green knight.

Patel says Gawain is an abstract version of the myth. For one thing, in the movie, he wasn’t a chivalrous knight of the round table.

“We find him in a brothel at the beginning of the movie, and he totally had the attitude. You watch him make a lot of mistakes, and you hope, by the end of this story, that he’s doing the honorable thing,” he says. “Whereas in the old story, he’s very chaste and honorable from the start. He’s less flawed in a way. In this version, he’s very flawed and has a lot to prove.”

In this way, Patel says he and his character are a lot alike. Despite his fear, he knows an opportunity – like his role in green knight when he sees one.

“You can’t get away from it, you have to hold it and do it,” he says. “Otherwise, you will back off and kick yourself on the other end.”

Patel spoke to All things consideredThe plot of the film revolves around how he personally relates to the journey of young Gawain, and how the production of the film resembles the actor’s quest and exploration of his British Indian identity through his acting. Listen to the audio player above, and read on for the interview highlights.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview highlights

About feeling a strong desire to prove oneself

I kind of feel that with every movie I do, in a way. If I take the phrase “producing a movie” out of it and call it a “task”, I feel like I’m always doing these tasks that I don’t know how to beat. As an actor, you feel like you have to improve in every role, and in certain aspects I feel like I’ve become confident and I’m comfortable with certain parts of the filmmaking process now; I’m not too intimidated by the makeup brush or the supplied microphone. But they are too [parts that are] the new. So talk to [director David Lowery] For the first time, I’m like, “Oh yeah, I can do that. I can ride a horse, feel these things and give you the spirit you need.” And then, all of a sudden: Cut to the first day of filming and I can’t argue the horse, it’s so cold, I’m wet and muddy. It is very similar to that.

About the types of roles he has been offered since his breakout the homeless milionaire

I think the main reason is that I am now allowed to exist in different worlds that I never dreamed I could have at the beginning of my career. even after SlumpdogI was so cocky. The rare texts to come, were the usual fodder for the goofy, tech-obsessed, blah blah blah. Now, I’m going to play Charles Dickens [The Personal History of] David Copperfield. I do not carry a tray in the background in the group, I serve tea. These characters are somehow allowed to exist sometimes in these kinds of time pieces, but to be able, in a way, to take center stage: that’s the biggest difference, I would say.

In exploring the complex duality of his identity through representation

Growing up in London, I spent my early childhood in school trying not to be beaten and bullied, and this meant hiding aspects of your Indian identity, and your culture to fit in. There are all these kinds of insults – from “being new to a boat,” for example – and so you’re trying to be more like a gullible local rapper than you’re trying to push Indian influences forward at home. And then [through my work in] This industry, I’ve been able to go to India, and all these kinds of preconceptions I had about my culture, my naivety, were kind of shattered. So I really loved exploring that other part of myself through my work. That duality that I have, and that so many people around the world have, sometimes feels like you’re sitting in this cultural no-man’s land: you’re neither British nor Indian, you’re kind of this weird space in between. Sometimes you get accepted by one faculty, sometimes you don’t, and this is a very complicated and frustrating place at times, a bewildering place to be. So I’m really trying to feel that in the work I do, and hopefully it’s more in the things I’m going to do in the future.

Gustavo Contreras and Mallory Yu produced and edited this story for broadcast. Mallory Yu adapted it for the web.

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