What You Don't Know About Dev Patel

Dev Patel rose to international fame in 2008 when he starred as Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire (via IMDb). The film would sweep the Oscars in 2009, according to The New York Times. And Patel's career was officially on fire. The British actor, whose family are Gujarati Hindus, would go on to appear in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Lion, notably, for which he was nominated for an Oscar (via The Guardian and IMDb). On the small screen, Patel then made waves in the Amazon series Modern Love, going on to receive an Emmy nomination for his role.

But there is more to know about Dev Patel than his on-screen successes. From a high-profile romance his ex said "was so impactful," to the fact that he eschews social media and considers himself a foodie, the 30-year-old is quirky and fascinating, yet seems to remain humble, and as The Guardian noted, "self-deprecating" (via Glamour and DMarge).

Dev Patel got his start on TV, where he suffered through his first kiss

Patel credits his mom with getting him into acting, telling The Guardian, "The reason I'm in the industry is because of her. She saw an advert for the Skins audition in Metro, tore it out and dragged me along to the National Youth Theatre in London." He got the part, playing Anwar, a teen who loses his virginity. This very episode is actually where Patel had his first kiss, which was admittedly awkward (via Bright Lights Film Journal).

Meanwhile, the star would go on to steal hearts with his role in Slumdog Millionaire, which is where he met his girlfriend of six years, Freida Pinto. The couple stayed together from 2008 until 2014, with the actress saying about their post-split relationship, "You can't share such a monumental shift in life, then not be friends" (via In Style).

About rumors their long love affair was simply a publicity stunt, Patel has said, "That would be a really long game for a horny 17-year-old to play. There's not even any point in me trying to clarify or justify it, because then you give those silly headlines power. And they mean nothing. I never read gossip because it doesn't matter to me" (via Bustle).

Before he found acting, Dev Patel tried a lot of other things

The Guardian notes Patel had a lot of excess energy as a kid, so his parents had him try karate and judo, among other sports. In fact, the Academy Award winner is a black belt in taekwondo according to Evening Standard. He was able to put those moves to good use while appearing in the movie The Last Airbender, with his former teacher saying, "He's a good black belt, he can fight, he'd be great in other martial arts films."

Back in 2009, Patel expressed an interest in doing just that, saying, "One of my favourite films is Enter The Dragon. I love Bruce Lee. I would love to do a martial arts film. That would be wicked" (via Mirror).

Well, never say never!

Dev Patel cares a lot about the craft of acting

About his role of Saroo in Lion, who is an adopted man who travels to India to find his family, Patel told The Guardian, "It took eight months to prepare. I wanted to commit every fibre of my being to getting it right. I had to bulk up, grow my hair, learn the accent." This BAFTA-winning turn was after he lost a ton of weight for another role.

Patel has also waxed poetic about the nature of his job, telling IndieWire about his role in The Personal History of David Copperfield, "What you do as an actor is, you want to be able to explore. The very nature of our job is to be able to step into different skins and be other people. This is the truest of that form."

He also has said, "I never went to acting school. Everything I've learned, I've learned from great directors and my co-stars. Acting is about honesty."

Dev Patel was considered for the role of James Bond

On Reddit, fans of the Brit are convinced he would be the perfect 007 after Daniel Craig. "He kills it in a tux," one comment notes, while another says, "Watch Lion. He can be a strong handsome dude." Another die-hard Bond fan comments in the thread, "I'm totally for it and would never have considered it but now I kind of want it."

But Patel told IndieWire about being considered, "My vote is for Idris [Elba] on that one." He doesn't see himself as an action star necessarily, and further noted, "I also don't want to be gifted a role, just because of the tokenistic nature of me being a garnish — 'Let's sprinkle some diversity into this!' That doesn't make me feel good either. If it works for the story, and I feel like I can bring some truth out of this role or embody it well, then that's what it should come down to."

Dev Patel is in another relationship

After his much-publicized split from Pinto in 2014, Patel is now dating Australian actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey, per AP News. The couple appeared in Hotel Mumbai together in 2018 (via IMDb). In May of 2020, the duo celebrated Patel's 30th birthday, with Daily Mail noting the typically private couple packed on the PDA in Los Angeles. The Sun also notes the couple prefers to keep their relationship quiet.

But what is known about the hot and heavy twosome is that according to Vogue, Cobham-Hervey is also a foodie, and introduced her man to his favorite eatery in Adelaide called Jasmin.