Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Keep Up with All the []; News and Gossip from the World of Showbiz, Edited by Alistair Foster with Emma Powell

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Keep Up with All the []; News and Gossip from the World of Showbiz, Edited by Alistair Foster with Emma Powell

Article excerpt

Byline: Alistair Foster with Emma Powell

Keep up with all the A List showbiz at standard.co.uk/insider Rising star Patel hails progress on ethnicity HIMESH PATEL has said the film industry is moving in the right direction after revealing his starring role in Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle's new movie Yesterday was not written for any particular ethnicity.

The former EastEnders actor, 28, said the background of his character being open during casting was a sign progress was being made.

He said Boyle simply "put every type of person in a room together to see who was the right person for the part".

He added: "Jack wasn't written for any specific ethnicity -- he's just a character. It turned out I was the right person for the part, and so Jack automatically became of South Asian background.

"His ethnicity was never part of our story, but for me that's a positive thing. Now we can have a character, and that character can be played by someone of my background, or any background.

"I'm proud to be part of that movement and I hope it continues moving in that upward curve.

It's still rare, but I like to think we're moving in a positive direction."

In the film he plays a musician who has a bicycle crash and wakes up in a world where The Beatles never existed.

Jack starts playing their songs and passing them off as his own and becomes a worldwide star.

Patel played Tamwar Masood in the BBC soap from 2007 to 2016 and said that thanks to the movie, his success could mirror that of Jack's.

He told The Jackal magazine: "It has crossed my mind that life may be beginning to imitate art. Since getting the role and finishing the film I've been to LA a couple of times and now I've got an American agent."

But he hopes he won't suffer as much as his character, adding: "The crazier things get for Jack, the more he starts to unravel because he's got the guilt, the weight on his mind that he didn't actually write these songs. …

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