Dev Patel and ‘The Wedding Guest’ Co-Star Radhika Apte Feel Fortunate for Diversity Shift in Hollywood (Video)

TIFF ’18: “These are the kind of stories that never would have been told in Hollywood,” Patel tells TheWrap

Dev Patel and Indian film and stage actress Radhika Apte star together in British writer-director Michael Winterbottom’s film “The Wedding Guest,” about a mysterious British Muslim man (Patel) on a journey across Pakistan and India.

Apte, who stopped by the TheWrap studio with Patel during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, said she feels fortunate times are changing, saying the film’s story could take place anywhere with anyone, regardless of race, nationality or gender.

“I know this film is particular to the place, but in my head it could take place anywhere,” Apte said. “I do feel, Dev, that you’ve broken a lot of stereotypes. You are doing films where you don’t necessarily need to be a brown skin boy, you can play anybody and I think that’s so incredible and so required; desperately. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the change.”

Patel, who also stars  in “Hotel Mumbai,” said these kinds of stories never would have been possible in Hollywood even two or three years ago.

With “Hotel Mumbai,” Patel said it was just important he got to help tell the story accurately since the real-life events it’s based on are important to people from India. “Hotel Mumbai” was picked up by Bleecker Street after the film’s producers bought the rights back following The Weinstein Co.’s bankruptcy.

“We’re so lucky as brown actors to be able to tell stories of such simplicity like [‘The Wedding Guest’], where it’s just a delicate love story, or ‘Hotel Mumbai,’ where it’s so diverse and for it to have 1,000 people on their feet at the premiere, it was really moving,” Patel told TheWrap. “I’m lucky, basically, because I’m allowed to add diversity to the screen and tell these stories.

“These are the kind of stories that never would have been told in Hollywood; even two or three years ago,” he added.