Ravi Patel: When I started in the West, it was all stereotypical stuff for Indians, and doing Indian accents – hollywood


For American actor Ravi Patel, who is Gujarati by origin, acting wasn’t something he was too keen on pursuing. But it happened for him, and about 70 projects later, he laughs when you ask him whether he’s satisfied with how it all turned out. Also considering his next is Wonder Woman 1984.

He connects with us on call from Los Angeles as he readies to go on a road trip for house hunting, “I am lucky I get to do this. This profession is like playing poker, where you hope to get better. I owe this moment to myself. I love that I get more opportunities than before. I found success late in life, as a result of which I have a better sense of what brings substance to my life.”

Over the years, the 41-year-old has been a part of projects such as Transformers, Meet the Patels and Outsourced. As we are talking about opportunities, we ask Patel if the quality of roles that Indian actors get in the West, especially the stereotypical representation, has changed for the better or not today. 

He says it has, quite a bit. “My career evolved alongside the Indian diaspora in the world. It heavily reflected in the way Indians have evolved here in America. It happened to me, when I first started, I got all stereotypical stuff- a call centre operator in Transformers, doctor in Scrubs. I did Indian accents,” he admits.

Emphasising on how in films, stereotyping is easy for anyone, he continues, “If you are an actor, it’s one of the most competitive things you can do. Everyone gets opportunities in whatever their perceived stereotype is- if you are a blonde woman with big b**bs, then the role of a bimbo. That’s what you are going to start with. If you do enough of those well enough, then it’s your way out of those stereotypes.”

Talk to him about Wonder Woman, which was delayed and is finally hitting theatres abroad and simultaneously on a streaming platform, and he says, “Doing this film was really cool. I don’t care about a superhero movie, and I am not saying I am not grateful for it. But it’s not something I geek out about. I enjoyed being on set of something that has those kind of resources. It was a big movie to work on. There were some of my favourite actors, and even director Patty Jenkins. The reason I was in it was because she and I had worked together in a show eight years ago.”

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