EXCLUSIVE: Dev Patel Opens Up About Newfound Heartthrob Status: 'It's Very Overwhelming and Strange'

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Dev Patel is still getting used to his newfound heartthrob status.

ET caught up with the 26-year-old British actor on the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet on Sunday, where he confessed to being uncomfortable with getting attention for his looks.

WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres Thinks Dev Patel Should Be 'Sexiest Man Alive'

"It's very overwhelming and strange because I've always been the dude that never got a girlfriend in school," Patel dished to ET’s Cameron Mathison. "I was kind of the awkward outsider. So not that it's changed much but I'm still the same. I feel the same."

While Patel has been mostly private about his dating life, he has no problem gushing over his career. He recently made history as the first Indian actor to earn a Best Supporting Oscar nomination with his role in Lion. "Isn't that insane!"Patel excitedly said of the nomination, before sharing his appreciation for the honor.

"I feel so overwhelmingly grateful. I don't know why I'm the recipient of so much luck and love," he said. "But it's beautiful. It's amazing. I'm just grateful."

MORE: Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar Are Too Cute at the Golden Globes

Looking back over the nearly 10 years since his breakout role in Slumdog Millionaire, Patel advised his younger self to "enjoy every minute" of the rise to stardom.

"I was beautifully unaware of everything back then and now I've come through it a couple times. It's more complex," Patel explained.  "It's more emotions in my head. I actually would like to go back to that place of innocence."

See the gut-wrenching trailer for Patel's Oscar-nominated film, Lion, below.

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