Saturday, 22 April 2017

Birthday's to share this week : 23rd - 29th April 2017

Do you celebrate your Birthday this week?

Dev Patel does on 23rd April - check out my tribute to this Birthday Lad turning 27, at the end of this feature.

Do you also share your birthday with a well known, highly regarded & famous Actor or Actress; share your special day with a Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer, Singer/Songwriter or Composer of repute; or share an interest in whoever might notch up another year in the coming seven days? Then, look no further! Whilst there will be too many to mention in this small but not insignificant and beautifully written and presented Blog, here are the more notable and noteworthy icons of the big screen, and the small screen, that you will recognise, and that you might just share your birthday with in the week ahead. If so, Happy Birthday to you from Odeon Online!

Sunday 23rd April
  • Lee Majors - Born 1939, turns 78 - Actor | Producer | Singer
  • Michael Moore - Born 1954, turns 63 - Producer | Director | Writer
  • John Hannah - Born 1962, turns 55 - Actor | Producer
  • John Cena - Born 1977, turns 40 - Actor | WWE Wrestler
  • Dev Patel - Born 1990, turns 27 - Actor | Producer  
  • Judy Davis - Born 1955, turns 62 - Actress
Monday 24th April
  • Shirley MacLaine - Born 1934, turns 83 - Actress | Singer | Producer | Writer | Director
  • Barbra Streisand - Born 1942, turns 75 - Actress | Producer | Director | Writer | Singer | Songwriter
  • Richard Donner - Born 1930, turns 87 - Director | Producer | Actor | Writer
  • Dijon Hounsou - Born 1964, turns 53 - Actor | Producer | Director  
Tuesday 25th April
  • Al Pacino - Born 1940, turns 77 - Actor | Director | Producer | Writer | Singer
  • Hank Azaria - Born 1964, turns 53 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Singer
  • Talia Shire - Born 1946, turns 71 - Actress | Producer | Director
  • Renee Zellweger - Born 1969, turns 48 - Actress | Producer | Writer | Singer  
Wednesday 26th April
  • Joan Chen - Born 1961, turns 56 - Actress | Producer | Director | Writer
  • Jet Li - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Director
  • Kevin James - Born 1965, turns 52 - Actor | Writer | Producer
  • Channing Tatum - Born 1980, turns 37 - Actor | Producer | Singer  
Thursday 27th April
  • Kevin McNally - Born 1956, turns 61 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Singer  
Friday 28th April
  • Ann-Margret - Born 1941, turns 76 - Actress | Singer
  • Bridget Moynahan - Born 1971, turns 46 - Actress 
  • Penelope Cruz - Born 1974, turns 43 - Actress | Writer | Producer | Director | Singer
  • Jessica Alba - Born 1981, turns 36 - Actress  
Saturday 29th April
  • Michelle Pfeiffer - Born 1958, turns 59 - Actress | Producer | Singer
  • Uma Thurman - Born 1970, turns 47 - Actress | Producer | Writer | Singer
  • Phillip Noyce - Born 1950, turns 67 - Director | Producer | Writer | Cinematographer | Actor
  • Daniel Day-Lewis - Born 1957, turns 60 - Actor
  • Jerry Seinfeld - Born 1954, turns 53 - Actor | Writer | Producer | Director | Singer
Dev Patel was born in the north-west London borough of Harrow to mother Anita, a care worker and father Raj an IT consultant. His parents are of Indian Hindu descent, both born in Nairobi and emigrated to England separately in their teenage years, first meeting in London. Dev attended Longfields Middle School and there he experienced his first acting role in a school production of 'Twelfth Night'. From there he attended the state secondary Whitmore High School in Harrow and graduated with top marks in his Drama General Certificate of Secondary Education. He then completed the Advanced Subsidiary Level qualification in Drama in 2007, whilst working on his acting debut for the television teen drama series 'Skins' in which he starred as Anwar Kharral, a British Pakistani Muslim teenager in the first two seasons. At this point Patel had no professional acting experience, and gained the role because his mother saw a casting advertisement in the newspaper and took him along to audition. The show ran for seven seasons and was critically acclaimed, picking up seven award wins and thirty other nominations.

On the strength of his performance in 'Skins' he was cast after five auditions in his big screen debut in 2008 in the role of Jamal Malik, the main character in Danny Boyle's highly acclaimed 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Made for US$15M the film grossed US$378M and the film picked up eight Academy Award wins including Best Picture and Best Director from its total haul of 151 award wins and 120 further nominations. The film well and truly put Patel on the map after only his first big screen outing, with numerous award wins and nominations coming forth too for his performance.

This was followed up in 2010 by M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Last Airbender' in the role of Zuko, based on the animated television series 'Avatar : The Last Airbender'. The film garnered generally negative press and Patel was nominated for a Razzie Award, even though critically his performance was seen as one of the films redeeming features. Made for US$150M the film grossed US$320M and despite the adverse Reviews was a commercial success.

Next up was an eight minute short film 'Commuter', also starring Charles Dance and Pamela Anderson, and filmed entirely on a Nokia E8 smart phone in HD to promote the launch of the phone in the UK. This gave way to 2012's 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Directed by John Madden and with a cast that included Bill Nighy, Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Ronald Pickup. Patel starred as Sonny Kapoor the young man who has designs on owning and managing his own retirement hotel in India. The film cost US$10M to make and grossed US$137M at the worldwide Box Office and it picked up four award wins and another 22 nominations. Patel and the ensemble cast would reprise their roles in the follow up film in 2015 also Directed by John Madden and adding David Strathairn and Richard Gere into the mix. 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' was again made for US$10M and grossed US$86M at the Box Office.

Between these two 'Exotic Marigold Hotel' films there was the Stephen Elliott Written and Directed 'About Cherry' in 2012 with James Franco and Heather Graham about the San Francisco porn industry, and then 'The Road Within' in 2014 also starring Zoe Kravitz, Robert Patrick and Kyra Sedgwick, about the young teenage inmates in a behavioural facility to cure the main characters of various ailments ranging from Tourette Syndrome, to OCD to eating disorders, how they escape and take a road trip as a consequence. 

This was followed up by the HBO Produced 'The Newsroom' television series which ran over three seasons from 2012 through to 2014 and 25 episodes. Patel starred as Neal Sampat in all 25 episodes alongside Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer and Olivia Munn amongst others. The show was well regarded and picked up nine award wins and another 32 nominations. 2015 saw Neill Blomkamp's near future, Johannesburg set 'Chappie' also starring  Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, and Sharlto Copley as the mechanical Police droid 'Chappie' and Patel as its designer and engineer Deon Wilson.

2015 also saw 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' - the biographical drama telling the story of the pioneer Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan as portrayed by Patel and his friendship with his mentor at Cambridge University during WWI, Professor G.H.Hardy as played by Jeremy Irons. The film also starred Toby Jones, Kevin McNally, Stephen Fry and Jeremy Northam and received positive Reviews.

'Lion' came next in 2016 and is still to be found playing in some cinemas. Directed by Garth Davis and telling the true story of five year old Saroo who gets separated from his beloved brother in Khandwa, India and is inadvertently transported 1,500kms to Calcutta. After several adventures, later he is adopted by a Tasmanian couple played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham and grows into young adulthood, attending Hospitality Training College in Melbourne having lost all contact and connections with his family and his native homeland. This is his story of how the grown Saroo Brierly retraces his roots to relocate his family back in India using Google Earth. The film was made for US$12M and has so far grossed US$135M and has been critically acclaimed having been nominated for six Academy Awards including Patels first nod as Best Supporting Actor, four Golden Globes including Patels nod as Best Supporting Actor too, five BAFTA's including the win for Patel as Best Supporting Actor, two SAG nominations including Best Supporting Male Actor and five AACTA's including the win again for Patel for Best Supporting Actor. The film picked up 31 award wins and another 75 nominations. 

Next up for Patel is 'Hotel Mumbai' currently in post-production for a release later this year. Directed by Anthony Maras and Co-starring Armie Hammer and Jason Isaacs this films tells the true story of the victims and survivors of the devastating attacks on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India in 2008. 

All up Patel has seventeen Acting credits to his name and one as Producer on the upcoming 'Hotel Mumbai'. He has so far accumulated seventeen award wins for 'Lion', 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'The Road Within' and a further 32 nominations. Patel was in a long term relationship with his 'Slumdog Millionaire' Co-Star Freida Pinto from 2009 through until 2014.

Dev Patel - Taekwondo champion having achieved a bronze medal at the 2004 Action International Martial Arts Association World Championships in Dublin; has already achieved much in just nine years of screen time and without any professional acting tuition; is a grounded Londoner who knows his strengths and weaknesses, and keeps it real as evidenced by his accolades garnered so far. Happy Birthday to you Dev, from Odeon Online.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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