Dev Patel Is Only The Third Indian Actor Ever To Receive An Oscar Nod

Good luck, Dev!
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Dev Patel has just been nominated for an Oscar.

The star received a nod in the Actor in a Supporting Role category for his role in “Lion,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday. The Oscar nomination isn’t just noteworthy because it’s Patel’s first ― it also makes him only the third actor of Indian descent in history to receive one in an acting category.

It’s been over a decade since the last actor of Indian descent, Ben Kingsley, received a nod, pointed out. Kingsley, who was nominated for his role in “House Of Sand And Fog,” has received four nominations in total, winning once.

Merle Oberon, another actor of Indian descent, also received a nomination for her role in the 1935 film, “The Dark Angel.” However, Oberon attempted to conceal her heritage for much of her life.

The few Indian actors with Oscar nods reflect the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood as well as the larger diversity issue in media. Asians nabbed only 3.9 percent of speaking roles in film ― a dramatic discrepancy from the amount white entertainers receive at 73.7 percent, a study on diversity within popular films from 2007–2015 revealed.

So for now, Patel’s achievement is still an admirable feat. And it comes at a time when the actor’s been making headlines for his role. The “Lion” star and his film had drummed up buzz late last year, earning him a nod for the role at the Golden Globes in January. Though he didn’t win, the star still stole the show when he introduced his film with 8-year-old Sunny Pawar.

Patel will have some stiff competition in the category, vying for the award alongside Mahershala Ali (”Moonlight”), Jeff Bridges (”Hell or High Water”), Lucas Hedges (”Manchester by the Sea”) and Michael Shannon (”Nocturnal Animals”).

The ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on Feb. 26 and will air live on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET.

To check out the full list of of nominees, head here.

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