15 JANUARY 2009 Just months ago London lad Dev Patel was a virtual unknown, with only one acting credit on his modest CV. What a difference a few weeks can make. This week the 18-year-old was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway and Clint Eastwood at the latest pre-Oscars award ceremony, where he collected yet another gong.
Dev picked up the best breakthrough performance trophy for his role in Slumdog Millionaire at the National Board Of Review Motion Pictures Awards gala. Oscar buzz now surrounds the youngster, who has already received a slew of accolades, including a BAFTA nod, plus Critics Choice and British Independent Film awards.
Also picking up trophies at this week's ceremony were Anne - named best actress for Rachel Getting Married - and Clint, awarded the best actor gong for his turn in Gran Torino, which he also directed.
Josh Brolin and Spanish talent Penelope Cruz were also recognised, in the best supporting category, for Milk and Vicky Cristina Barcelona respectively.