People Staff
March 09, 2009 12:00 PM


They play Slumdog‘s sweethearts, but in real life Freida Pinto and Dev Patel laugh off rumors they’re an item. Pinto—who recently split from her fiancé, a source says—has told PEOPLE she and Patel are just “great friends.”

For Slumdog Millionaire‘s youngest stars, Oscar day started with primping and the all-important power breakfast. “I had pancakes with maple syrup, waffles with chocolate and berries and a bagel,” a tuxedo-clad Tanay Chheda, 12, recounted with a grin at the Kodak Theatre before the film cemented its status as the little movie that could—and did—with eight awards, including Best Picture.

Tanay and five of his fellow child actors, who flew in for the show from their native India, would need the energy. Their dizzying trip abroad included a cast dinner with grown-up counterparts Dev Patel, 18, and Freida Pinto, 24, a walk down the world’s most famous red carpet (which young Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala described as “like being hit by thunder!”), a night of party-hopping with Best Director winner Danny Boyle and a post-Oscar visit to Disneyland.

At the Governors Ball, the kids munched on pizza and collected autographs (“Brad Pitt told me, ‘You have a bright future ahead of you,'” Tanay reported) while Pinto relaxed. “It’s wonderful having my little friends here,” she said. “I’m over the moon.”

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