Last night was the New York City premiere of M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender, the live-action retelling of the popular Nickolodeon cartoon. Dev Patel, the movie’s star, was joined by the likes of Jackson Rathbone, Tracy Morgan and Corbin Bleu. (Be forewarned: the film is getting horrendous reviews!)
Petal, 20, previously starred in Slumdog Millionaire, his screen debut and spoke to CBS News about the pressure of his second film. “Everyone asks me ‘do you feel a lot of pressure coming off Slumdog‘ and I’m, like, of course,” admits Patel. “People see me as a veteran already and it’s my second project. You have this unbelievable pressure coming off of a film like that, but at the same time, obviously it’s a blessing doing a film like that, and I wouldn’t have asked for anything different.”
Patel is an amateur martial artist and he drew inspiration for the craft of martial art through film stars of his childhood, most notably Chinese martial arts icon and film actor Bruce Lee.
“As a kid, I would sneak downstairs while my dad’s watching Enter The Dragon really late and I’d watch Bruce Lee and he just exuded this energy,” says Patel. “I was like ‘wow, he’s just a superstar, he’s just so different and just a breath of fresh air.’ And I started doing martial arts because of that.”
Check out our gallery of all the celebrities at the premiere!