Dev Patel’s transformation from gangly coming-of-age actor to dreamy leading man might have seemed seamless, but that wasn’t really the case. In a recent New York Times interview, the Green Knight star opened up about his insecurities and the lasting effects of insults he received about his appearance around the time of his acting debut in Skins in 2007. “It was quite brutal,” Dev said.
“It really took a toll on me personally.”
Dev recalled perusing chat rooms about the teen drama at the time and coming across hurtful remarks about himself: “There were all these lists of who’s the favorite character on the show or who was the best-looking character, and I was always the ugliest, the least attractive. No one liked Anwar. It really took a toll on me personally.” When critical and public acclaim later followed, Dev said he struggled with feeling he was worthy of it. “That kind of speaks to my natural low self-esteem,” he added.
A consummate professional, Dev also managed to find similarities between his own struggles and the aspirations of his character, Sir Gawain, in The Green Knight. “Whether you’re an Instagram model or a YouTuber, there’s this thirst to be recognized, to have your legend spoken about, to get the likes,” he said. “And for me as a young actor in Hollywood, you’re dealing with issues of masculinity, ego, success and fame. That’s the same quest this young man goes on to be a known knight. All of that, I related to.”