Photographed by Paul Farrell and outfitted by stylist Aradia Crockett, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel actor connects with The Guardian in London for a new shoot to promote the movie. The former Skins star talks about feeling like an outsider, even after the success of Slumdog Millionaire. He confesses, “I’m never happier and more alive than when I’m on set. I love it, it consumes me and I feel more confident. But I was never cool.”
Recalling when he was dating Freida Pinto, Patel reveals a chance encounter with fashion photographer Mario Testino. “I remember going to this one Burberry show, and it was exciting. They’ve always been very kind to me and, even as a gangly guy, I felt I was rocking their suits. So when I was invited to one of the fashion shows in London, I went. Even though I had this preconceived notion – ‘I’m not going to fit in with this crowd, it’s going to be intimidating’. I was sitting there, and this fellow says, ‘Are you the one dating Freida Pinto [his Slumdog co-star]?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’ And then he says: ‘Why? How? Why is she dating you? She’s so beautiful.’ And I say, ‘Yeah. She is!’ And then he says: ‘But you’re so, ugh, so normal-looking.'” / Read more on TheGuardian.com.