(CNN)Dev Patel is an actor who brought hope to the masses with "Slumdog Millionaire," portrayed a man following his dreams in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and lifted our spirits in "Lion." On screen, he's a lovable underdog. Off-screen, he's a "Creator."
Dev Patel on the space between 'action and cut'
Where it started:
Patel was a "hyperactive" kid -- not the sit-down-and-study-algebra type, he admits. On his mother's suggestion, he channeled his energy into sport and theater. He made his acting debut in a middle school production of "Twelfth Night."
His next challenge:
"It's nice to be able to be tested, so I hope that there's going to be more material out there so that I can stretch myself and spread my wings further. You know, once you've had such a nourishing journey, you want to be able to step onto another one that's equally so."