Dev Patel / The Green Knight

Dev Patel is relentlessly upbeat and ebullient. If he ever decided to run for political office, it would be hard to imagine anyone better able to inspire the public and convince us that better times lie ahead.

In the meantime, the handsome 6’2″ Londoner is enjoying the most productive and creatively fulfilling time of his career Not only did he earn rave reviews for his recent work in The Personal History of David Copperfield, but soon he will be seen in THE GREEN KNIGHT, a medieval epic adapted from the 14th century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Patel stars as Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew and Knight of the Round Table, who summons all his courage and gladiatorial skill to battle the monstrous green-skinned warrior creature who slays all challengers. The film is directed by David Lowery (A Ghost Story) and co-stars Alicia Vikander and Joel Edgerton.

Arguably the most confident and physically imposing character the 30-year-old actor has yet to play, Sir Gawain is still facing the kind of impossible odds that have often confronted Patel’s famous underdog characters in films including Slumdog Millionaire, Lion, The Man Who Knew Infinity, and David Copperfield. There is something about Dev’s indomitable spirit that lends itself to portraying young men struggling to overcome obstacles and achieve a measure of greatness.

“I think most of the lead characters we see in movies are on some sort of heroic journey,” Patel says. “I certainly understand the perspective of someone facing long odds or having to struggle to realise their ambitions.”

He adds: “I don’t feel like an underdog, but I feel like an imposter a lot of the time. I can relate to the general awkwardness [of the underdog] …. For me, and for any young person growing up in life, you’re trying to figure out who you are and constantly trying to overcome adversities.”

In the trailer for The Green Knight, we see Patel’s Sir Gawain confessing his self-doubts to a mysterious force: “I fear I’m not meant for greatness,” to which the forbidding voice responds: “We all fear, but fear can be a gift”…

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