Dev Patel brings dash of youth to 'Marigold Hotel' [exclusive clip]
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is already an international hit, thanks to a cast of senior British talent including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith. But those veterans are not the only draw -- there's 23-year-old Dev Patel, best known to Americans for his turn in "Slumdog Millionaire."
The film is based on Deborah Moggach’s book “These Foolish Things,” and it centers on seven middle-class Britons whose savings have melted down with the global economy. They’re lured to the subcontinent with the promise of retiring in affordable luxury, but instead they find a heady mix of heat, noise, smells and tastes -- in other words, India. They end up at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is run by Patel's character, Sonny, who may have oversold its charms just a tad.
Patel's character was expanded in the film version to broaden the appeal to younger viewers.
For Patel, working with such experienced actors was daunting, eye-opening and a great learning experience, he said.
“Coming into this, I was a bag of nerves,” Patel said on the set of the film in Jaipur, India, in late 2010. “Any of these guys are massive powerhouse actors, a massive presence in the industry. It’s sort of like sensory overload.”
But as filming took place on outdoor locations around Jaipur, most Indian passersby recognized him and not Dench, Nighy, Smith or his other film legend co-stars. That, he said, was a bit unfair. “It’s so undeserving.”
Check out an exclusive clip from the movie with Patel above.
-- Mark Magnier in Jaipur, India
Photo: Dev Patel and Tena Desae in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Credit: Ishika Mohan / Fox Searchlight Pictures