Dev Patel delighted to become ‘colour-blind’ David Copperfield

Dev Patel has hailed Armando Iannucci’s decision to cast him as David Copperfield, opening up the character to a new generation of fans.
Armando’s new film, The Personal History of David Copperfield, adapts Charles Dickens’ classic Victorian coming-of-age tale, but with a new approach thanks to Asian actor Dev taking on the title role.
The Slumdog Millionaire star confesses his first thought on hearing the character’s moniker was of the American magician of the same name – but hopes his starring role will reintroduce young people to the famous literary character.
“I think (Armando’s) choice to just cast the right faces for the part opened this movie up in such a way where you won’t have people meeting him for the first time, and asking ‘Who’s David Copperfield, is he the magician?’ – which is what I did,” he told the BBC at the movie’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere on Thursday (05Sep19).
“You’ll have young children in schools looking at this movie and finding a face they can relate to, I hope,” Dev explained. “For me, I just think back to my younger self and what he would think about older Dev being able to be part of this movie with this cast, and I feel so lucky.
“I want that opportunity to extend to my peers as well, because this is why we do it,” he continued. “We don’t do storytelling and exploring to be put in boxes, we do it to be free and live dreams so we can put them on screen.”
For his part, Armando said Dev was the first person he thought of when casting the role, because of his awkwardness.
“When I wanted to make David Copperfield, I instantly thought of Dev,” he said. “Because he has those qualities of naivety, awkwardness, and yet strength at the same time. And he instantly was, for me, David. And he said yes, thankfully, because I couldn’t think of anyone else, I didn’t have a plan B.”