Dev Patel: I spent hours looking at myself in the mirror for Lion role
Dev Patel spent hours looking at himself in the mirror for his role in 'Lion'.
The 26-year-old actor plays adopted Saroo Brierley, who goes on a quest to find his birth parents in India, in the upcoming true-life tale and needed to go on a "process of introspection" to transform into his character, because he is usually much more "super-hyperactive".
He told Empire magazine: "It required an energy shift. I'm a super-hyperactive kind of dude and the role required a level of stillness.
"Saroo had this emotional pain, this weight.
"I spent eight months prepping and it was all a process of introspection.
"I travelled around India on trains to get a feel of what it would be like, I wrote diaries, I visited orphanages.
"Garth would get me to stare in the mirror for an hour.
"It's amazing what you can see when you stop for a moment and really try to look inside yourself."
Dev landed the role after a gruelling six-hour audition in which he worked through the entire script with director Garth Davis and "lost his mind" at the end.
He recalled: "At the end of it, Garth said, 'Before you go, I'm wondering if you could just scream?' I was like, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I want you to roar like a lion. Let go of emotion and completely purge the pain you'd feel in Saroo's situation. You don't have to do it.'
"And I was like, 'Of course I have to'. So I did and I completely lost my mind. I was jumping in at the deep end."