He recently turned 22, and she is 27. And his girlfriend, actor Freida Pinto, has more experience in Hollywood with seven films vis-à-vis Dev Patel, who has done just three films, including their debut Slumdog Millionaire. So her overpowering nature doesn’t come as a surprise. He giggles when asked who’s the more dominating of them. "I’d say it’s her," he tells us over phone from Los Angeles.
And the doting boyfriend is proud of his lady love, as her career has shot leaps and bounds in the West. "She has done amazing stuff. It’s amazing to be behind the scenes looking at her rise. It’s a real pleasure," he says.
But isn’t he jealous as an actor? "We’re not necessarily in a race or anything. The roles we do are not really comparable," he says while conceding that the two do seek each other’s advice professionally. "We definitely use each other as support," says Patel, who makes sure they "always find time to meet each other." Ask him if she is always anxious about her looks while seeing him, as has been reported, and the actor says, "No, of course not. She is beautiful in everything she does. She’s just probably thinking too much."
While he evades commenting on rumours about moving in with his girlfriend of four years, Patel freaks out when asked about marriage. "No. I’m 22 man! I’ve got a long way to go," says the actor, who will be next seen in British comedy-drama, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which hits Indian screens on May 18. And guess who inspired him for his “stumbling, falling, rolling” character Sunny Kapoor in the flick? “Johnny Lever was a big inspiration for me for this character. I used to find him hilarious in all the movies I used to see while growing up. He is a little under-appreciated there you know. He is a real cool dude,” says the actor, who shot for the flick in Rajasthan for two months with actor Dame Judi Dench.
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