Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Dev Patel Doesn't Star In Big Budget Blockbusters

Given his rakish leading-man looks, commanding screen presence, and boundless charm one might be surprised how few big screen credits Dev Patel has accumulated since breaking out in the Best Picture winning 2008 drama "Slumdog Millionaire." You might be even more surprised by how few of those films were produced by major Hollywood studios, with the infamously choosy actor so far carving out a solid film career outside of the studio system. Studio bosses have, of course, been trying for years to put Patel in one tentpole project or another. To date, the actor has largely resisted, opting instead to appear in indie flicks that front character and story over CGI bombast, and earning raves for his work in films like "Lion," "The Wedding Guest," and "The Personal History of David Copperfield." 

So fervently has Dev Patel avoided the blockbuster realm — he admitted in a recent New York Times interview promoting his new indie epic "The Green Knight" — that his agents are frequently frustrated by his refusal to sign on to big budget projects. In that same interview, he offered a bit of insight into why he's so wary of such high profile affairs, and it seems that one of the bigger factors involved is that he's not crazy about acting within artificial environments. 

Dev Patel is apparently no fan of green screen work

Patel offered to The New York Times that part of his hesitation towards blockbuster cinema is that he just doesn't see himself as that sort of actor, "Maybe it's a fear of how I would fit into that world." Subsequently he claims he also doesn't like acting in front of green screens, with Patel savvily reminding the interviewer that the one time he did go the blockbuster, green screen route, it resulted in, "one of the worst movies I've ever done."

He's speaking, of course, of M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 fantasy flop "The Last Airbender," which most critics and viewers agree was a low point for pretty much everyone involved in the production. The experience clearly left a bad taste in Patel's mouth, as he has avoided such projects in the years since. Per Patel himself, acting in almost entirely artificial environments just wasn't a good fit for him, though he has nothing but respect for actors who make it work. "I didn't really flourish in that position. I take my hat off to all those incredible actors that do Marvel movies where it's, like, big, noisy fans and green screen and tennis balls and whatnot."

As it stands, Patel clearly has no plans to go the blockbuster route anytime in the near future. And given the impressive body of work he's assembling outside of the studio realm, one has to admire his fortitude — even if we'd still love to see him in a Marvel project somewhere down the road.