Dev Patel on 'Lion': To "Just Be an Everyman, a Modern 20-Something-Year-Old Guy, Meant a Lot" | Actor Oscar Roundtable

"You have to take on the mold because that's all there is to break the mold, and you can push the bar a little bit in that space."

"I don't get roles like [Lion], ever," Dev Patel told The Hollywood Reporter during the Actor Oscar Roundtable. "To be able to say such words of gravitas and not be pandering to someone else, or playing a sort of tech geek. It was a transformative journey."

In the film, Patel tells the true story of a man separated from his Indian family as a boy and adopted by Australian parents (played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham).

"It's something I could relate to about someone who's suppressed his culture and a part of himself for a while to try and fit in, and then all of a sudden having those memories come back," said the actor. "When I first went to India for Slumdog [Millionaire] (Patel's breakout role in the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle film), it was a light-bulb moment, and those cliches I had of the country and the people, it kind of was all dispersed straight away."

More roundtables featuring actresses, screenwriters, songwriters, documentarians, directors, composers and producers will continue through February in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With 'The Hollywood Reporter' starting Jan. 15 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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