The director, cast, and crew of “Lion” discussed the film’s journey to the big screen on Monday night at the Variety Screening Series presented by AARP.

Garth Davis said he put star Dev Patel “through hell” to ensure that he was prepared for the daunting role, while Nicole Kidman revealed her personal connection to her character of Sue Brierley — also an adoptive mother. Cinematographer Greig Fraser, composers Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann (aka Hauschka), and producer Angie Fielder also discussed their roles on the film.

“I just wanted to see if Dev could do something that wasn’t ‘Marigold Hotel,'” he said about the audition process. “I put him through hell in his house in London; we had this acting workshop and he was just astonishing in that room.”