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Why Babajide From Wonder Woman 1984 Looks So Familiar

Not every critic is a fan of Wonder Woman 1984, but none can deny how popular the movie is or how brightly actress Gal Gadot shines in the titular role once again. Indeed, Warner Bros. is so confident in the film that it announced a third movie to round out the trilogy a mere two days after WW84's worldwide release. That's a testament to the power of superhero movies — still going strong even two decades after the genre rose to true prominence.

A big part of any movie's success, however, is its supporting cast. Gadot was relatively unknown before being cast, but now she's as much of an icon as the Amazonian princess herself, and a lot of that is thanks to all the personalities that have been supporting her since she first put on that golden tiara. Chris Pine, who returns to the role of Steve Trevor, has been a Hollywood mainstay since his time as Star Trek's Captain Kirk. We also get a dose of Pedro Pascal, who has taken the world by storm thanks to his starring role in The Mandalorian.

Then there's Babajide. Babajide, played memorably by Ravi Patel, is a man with some important information for Diana, Steve, and Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig). Though he may not be as immediately recognizable as Pine or Pascal, if Patel seems familiar to you, here's where you may have seen him before.

Patel struggled with love and tradition in Meet the Patels

Part documentary, part rom-com, Meet the Patels chronicles Patel's search for love as an unmarried man at age 30. On the one hand, there's Audrey (Audrey Wauchope), an American woman with whom he fell in love but recently broke up with; on the other, there are his parents, who convince him to sniff out a more "traditional" partner. Mediating (and filming) the whole affair is Patel's sister Geeta (Geeta V. Patel). Together, the real-life sibling pair directed the film.

Things get messy as Patel fails again and again to latch onto any single person, but it's only because — as he and Geeta both well know — he's already found the love of his life in Audrey. At that point, the question turns from "can Patel find a partner?" to "can Patel win the uphill battle against his parents and persuade them that Audrey is suitable?" There are lots of laughs to be had, but Meet the Patels tackles the socio-cultural questions it poses seriously, with Patel at the center of it all. There really hasn't been a film like it before or since.

To hear Patel himself tell it, "You know that girl in Eat, Pray, Love? She goes through a break up, goes on the existential journey to India to get over depression, find out what she really wanted in life? I was that girl. Except, my family was with me the entire time" (via the official Meet the Patels site).

Patel cooked up masterpieces on Grandfathered

In Grandfathered, bachelor James "Jimmy" Martino (John Stamos) lives a full life as the proprietor of a successful restaurant — a life that becomes all the fuller when he learns he has a 25-year-old son named Gerald (Josh Peck) and a granddaughter (Layla and Emelia Golfieri). He knows how to run a business, but running a family he never knew he had proves an entirely new challenge. Luckily, he has Patel's Ravi Gupta keeping the kitchen in order, while he's off learning how to be a father and a grandfather.

As head chef, it's Gupta's job to ensure that only the best dishes make their way onto patrons' tables. Thanks to Martino's assistant Annalise Wilkinson (Kelly Jenrette), it's a duty he comes to take very seriously. Gupta cooks up more than just food, though. He enjoys whipping up the recipe for love, as well, attempting to set Wilkinson up with a prep chef and having Gerald's back when it comes to Vanessa (Christina Milian), the mother of Gerald's child. He's as valuable a friend as he is a chef, and the character is played to perfection by Patel.

Patel's other work varies widely

Patel's résumé is peppered with appearances in well-known productions. One of his earliest roles is a quick but memorable scene in the first of Michael Bay's Transformers movies, in which he plays a telephone operator so apathetic about his job that he can't tell there's a war happening on the other end of the line. Most of his screen time, however, has been spent on recurring small screen roles, like Grant on American Housewife, Doug on Living Biblically, or Ravi on Master of None.

Outside of Wonder Woman 1984, Patel's most recent roles (as of December 2020) are a fictionalized version of himself in the Netflix rom-com Bhagg Beanie Bhagg and Doctor Bean in Butter, a disturbing psychological exploration of one boy's reaction to bullying. He also created the HBO Max docuseries Pursuit of Happiness, which sends him world to break down various cultural traditions in an attempt to answer the questions surrounding them. 

Patel obviously gets around, so expect to see him again sooner rather than later.