Patel was one of a number of future stars to make their debuts in the Channel 4 show, along with Daniel Kaluuya, Kaya Scodelario and Hannah Murray. He portrayed Anwar, a sex-crazed teenager in a cluster of Bristol friends led by Nicholas Hoult’s Tony.
The show had an enormous following, particularly online, but Patel has now revealed that he struggled to cope with some of the comments made about his appearance.
“I was a young kid going on these chat rooms and it was quite brutal,” Patel told The New York Times. “There were all these lists of who’s the favourite character on the show or who was the best-looking character, and I was always the ugliest, the least attractive.”
“No one liked Anwar,” he continued. “It really took a toll on me personally.”
Patel, who next stars in the highly anticipated historical epic The Green Knight, ventured to Hollywood in the wake of Skins. He’s appeared in films including Slumdog Millionaire and Lion, but also revealed that he has repeatedly turned down major blockbusters after a dismal experience working on the M Night Shyamalan movie The Last Airbender.
Dubbing it “one of the worst movies I’ve ever done”, he added that he “didn’t really flourish in that position”.
“I take my hat off to all those incredible actors that do Marvel movies where it’s, like, big, noisy fans and green screen and tennis balls and whatnot,” he said.
The Green Knight, which is released in the US this week, recently had its UK release pulled over concerns about the cinema-going marketplace amid the pandemic.