Expect to see the two main stars of Slumdog Millionaire in mainstream Hollywood movies in the coming years. Having proven their strengths as actors in the multiple Academy Award winning film, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto are already signed on to new projects helmed by big directors.
Dev Patel, who played the life-changing role of Jamal Malik in Slumdog, will next be seen in the film The Last Airbender, which is based on a Nickelodeon kid's series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The film is directed by notorious director M. Night Shyamalan and is set to be released next year. Patel will reportedly play Prince Zuko and will be joined other up-and-coming young stars.
His co-star Freida Pinto, who played Latika in Slumdog, is reported to be included in the next Woody Allen movie which will be shot in London. Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins are just some of the actors attached to this project.
18-year-old Patel and 24-year-old Pinto have the critically-acclaimed film to thank for jump-starting their acting careers. It was here that they both made their film debuts.
Patel was born in England to Indian parents. His first foray into acting was in a British TV teen drama series called Skins, which aired in 2007. Director Danny Boyle's daughter was a fan of Skins and was said to recommend Patel to her father, while he was casting for Slumdog. To prepare for his role, Patel immersed himself in everyday living in Mumbai, where he took temporary jobs in a call center and a hotel. The Dharavi slums, the main setting of the movie, is believed to be the largest slum in Asia with about a million residents.
After the movie's release, Patel received several awards from prestigious groups, recognizing his breakthrough outstanding performance.
His co-star and friend in real life, Freida Pinto, is an Indian actress and a professional model. Born in Mumbai, she was an anchor of an international travel show and a television and print ad model. She appeared in runway shows and magazine covers as well. She was also trained in acting, though she didn't have a solid acting experience. This all changed after being chosen by director Danny Boyle for his next movie, after several rounds of auditions. Like her co-star, Pinto also gained recognitions for her portayal of Latika, Jamal's love interest.
From being unknowns to starring in mainstream movies, these young stars sure have come a long way. They probably didn't expect their very first movie to be the sensational award-winning hit that it is now, which bestowed them favorable status in Hollywood. Pinto shares that for her, it is a start of a new life. Indeed it is.