Actor Himesh Patel is making a bid to brighten up your day

A man shielding the light from his eyes with his hand.

The star of Danny Boyles’ Yesterday and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is literally keeping it light in the TV adaptation of The Luminaries, in which he plays an embodiment of the sun

Words by Louis Wise Images by Danny Kasirye  Styling by David Nolan Thur, Jul 16, 2020

In his current role, Himesh Patel lifts your spirits – and he is aware, as we all are, that it’s something we need. For nearly 10 years he played the endearing nerd, Tamwar Masood, in the British soap and TV institution, EastEnders. Then, he got his Hollywood break as the lead in the hit Danny Boyle romcom, Yesterday, with Lily James. And now we meet the 29-year-old, Cambridgeshire-born actor in BBC drama, The Luminaries – a realisation of the book that broke records and won awards in equal measure. Patel plays the sunny hero, Emery, and says, ‘Ultimately, he’s a beacon of light. He’s the one who’s always trying to do the right thing... and that really appealed to me. I am a romantic at heart, really.’

Patel is speaking on the phone from his London flat, where he is on lockdown with his girlfriend. He has an affable, slightly hangdog tone; the sense of everyman sweetness is still there when he reveals that his main occupations are baking bread (‘just still a white bloomer for now’) and repainting his walls. He would never say, but perhaps it’s just nice to take a break. In addition to Yesterday, wr