Dev Patel addresses use of colour-blind casting in his latest film

He stars in The Personal History Of David Copperfield as the title character.
He stars in The Personal History Of David Copperfield as the title character.

Dev Patel has said the film industry is at the “beginning of a movement” in colour-blind casting.

The star of Armando Iannucci’s film The Personal History Of David Copperfield said he was not bored of the conversation about representation, and that “wonderful things” were happening.

He was speaking at the British Independent Film Awards (Bifas) in London where the film was nominated in 11 categories.

The Slumdog Millionaire star told the PA news agency: “I’m not bored of it. I think wonderful things are happening. The fact that I get to be in a film like this is amazing.

“It’s at the beginning of a movement, if you can call it that. You have got to talk about it to get some momentum, so it’s cool.”

Iannucci’s film is based on the Charles Dickens novel David Copperfield and is a retelling of the classic book using colour-blind casting, the practice of casting without considering the actor’s ethnicity or gender.

Patel said Iannucci had made the story accessible to “kids” like himself.

British Independent Film Awards 2019 – London
Paul Whitehouse and Dev Patel  at the British Independent Film Awards (Matt Crossick/PA)

“I totally missed this literary classic growing up. It didn’t appeal to me,” he said.

“And what Armando has done with the casting and the world, he has given it a buoyancy and an accessibility to kids like myself.

“It really is representative of a modern Britain – the one that I grew up in.

“And it’s about humility, it’s about friendship, it’s about togetherness and accepting where you have come from and embracing that too.

The Writers Guild Awards 2019 – London
Director Armando Iannucci (Ian West/PA)

“That’s where your success lies.”

Speaking about the Death Of Stalin director, he added: “He’s a beautiful man. I hadn’t read the script when I signed on for the role.

“We just sat in the reception of this hotel and he just absolutely captured it. He had me on the floor in stitches.

“His humour and his wit, and he is so intelligent – it really is infectious. He really is the best leader. It was an honour.”