Not one but two movie trailers just dropped featuring Dev Patel in upcoming British historical films — proving that no matter what century he’s in, the actor will always be hot.
The first trailer to drop was for the upcoming A24 medieval fantasy film The Green Knight, where Patel plays Sir Gawain, the chaotic nephew of King Arthur on a quest to find a gigantic green-skinned stranger known as the Green Knight.
In the trailer, Patel is bold, brazen and serving medieval L’Oréal hair commercial realness. Seriously, Patel has some of the best locks in the game. His tresses are always hydrated and holding a perfect curl.
Just look at the shot of him with a crown and halo on his head. Fan Kesha Lariesa, 22, calls the composition of Patel in sensual lighting life-changing. “Genuinely so pretty, and I’m in love,” she tells MEL. “Also, his facial hair? Phew.” It’s official. Patel, known for goofy underdog roles early in his career, is a bona fide hunk, and it’s time we all literally look up to the six-foot actor. (I can only hope Patel is secretly a tall bottom)
Don’t forget he’s also a seriously skilled actor. After landing his role as Anwar on Skins with no professional acting experience, he won a BAFTA and nearly won an Oscar a decade later. In 2017, he roared his way to a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Lion. Patel is often sidelined for flashier costars, like Nicole Kidman in Lion, Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom and all the white actors on Skins.
After appearing on Skins, the spiritual predecessor to Euphoria, Nicholas Hoult and Jack O’Connell almost immediately snagged roles in blockbuster films: Hoult was one of the X-Men, and O’Connell was directed by Angelina Jolie in the film adaptation of Unbroken. Meanwhile, Daniel Kaluuya survived on guest TV appearances and bit film parts until Get Out garnered him attention and Oscar nomination. (The two nonwhite actors are the only Skins alumni to become Oscar nominees.)
Patel’s lead role in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire speaks for itself. But the hill I’ll die on us that Patel is the only good part of M. Night Shyamalan’s wretched live adaption of The Last Airbender. “That’s what has been so great [about watching] his career: now you know he’s proven himself,” culture writer and critic Hanna Flint tells MEL. “Patel had to really work and be selective in what he does.”
Still, it’s only now that Patel is finally on the precipice for leading man recognition he’s so long deserved. How many people actually saw his films Hotel Mumbai, Chappie or The Man Who Knew Infinity? Sure he received praise for his performance as the boyish retirement hotel manager in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But that series, while enjoyable, was targeted specifically toward AARP cardholders. Patel is young and hot. Is this the year Hollywood recognizes it?
Luckily, Patel also has a second film coming out this spring: The Personal History of David Copperfield. Patel stars alongside Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie and Ben Whishaw in the latest adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic.
White actors Hugh Dancy, Daniel Radcliffe and Ian McKellen have all previously played Copperfield, Patel — who is British-Indian — is the latest British actor of color to take on a historically white character in a period drama. He joins Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Belle, Gemma Chan in Mary Queen of Scots and David Oyelowo in BBC’s Les Miserables.
Last month for BBC, Flint chronicled the backlash to casting actors of color in British period dramas. “If we’re going to constantly tell the same stories again, we’re going to keep repeating ourselves,” Flint tells MEL. “It’s all about creating opportunity and giving people the chance to play roles and show that their talent shouldn’t be limited to the color of their skin. White people have had more than enough time and opportunities.”
So it’s time we finally give Patel his due. After all, Timothée Chalamet shouldn’t be the only prestige actor with enviable hair in Hollywood.