January 25th, 2009
11:22 PM ET
Wow, there's just no denying "Slumdog Millionaire!" I'm happily eating crow after predicting a big win for "Milk" (see previous blog post). These are heady times for the Best Cast in a Motion Picture winners.
After doing a little dance backstage, Dev Patel told us that it was a surreal experience walking down the red carpet and seeing Kate Winslet. "Titanic" was one of the first movies he really loved, and he was blown away that she recognized him. She wasn't the only star who did.
Patel: "I just couldn't believe it. They know who we are." Anil Kapoor, who plays the treacherous host of the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in the film, had his sights on another big star on the red carpet: Angelina Jolie.
He implored his co-star Irrfan Khan (who appeared with Jolie in "A Mighty Heart") to introduce him. "Don't be a shy American," he implored, "act like an Indian!" Khan did, and Kapoor delightfully made her acquaintance.
But beyond the famous faces they're seeing, it's clear that what the "Slumdog Millionaire" cast values more is the effect its success is having on India and its film industry.
Kapoor: "This is what India needed. We needed a platform for more films to be shot in India."
On a lighter note, he said he heard from Regis Philbin, who hosted the original American version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Kapoor said Regis joked that he wished "he could have been as nasty to his contestants."
It's full speed to the Oscars, now, and if these guys tell you it's just a thrill to be nominated, believe them.
"We were in Mumbai and Danny, Dev, and Freida (Pinto) were there," Kapoor recollects, "When it was was nominated for Oscars, Dev started dancing and getting excited. [Director] Danny [Boyle] had tears in his eyes. Danny said, 'We premiere in Mumbai, and we hear the Oscar nominations were announced.' We couldn't feel it - we were completely numb."
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