Dev Patel. Picture: AP

Dev Patel says people give him "flak" for taking Indian roles because some consider him not to be a "real" Indian as he was born in London to parents from Gujarat, India.

The 'Slumdog Millionaire' star - who was born in London to parents from Gujarat, India - is fed up of being criticised for "stealing" these parts from "real" Indian actors.

He told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I get flak sometimes because people will say, 'Why aren't they giving these roles to a real Indian?' I wonder, What does that even mean? The only way I can converse with my grandparents is in Gujarati. Does that make me real enough? Or am I only allowed to witness the moments of prejudice and racism going through airports? Is that the only bit that I'm allowed of the culture? ... The truth is I'm trying to understand myself better and my heritage, to figure things out, in the movie choices I make. That's been the greatest thing for me in going to India repeatedly."

Meanwhile, Dev had previously confessed he "reconnected" with Indian culture when he starred in 'Slumdog Millionaire' but claimed back in 2016 that he could never really fit in as the locals "could smell the foreigner on me".

He said: "You start to reconnect to the culture. But I also felt like I stood out in India. It doesn't matter what I look like - my brown skin. When I went there, for 'Slumdog Millionaire', they could smell the foreigner on me, no matter what clothes I wore ... Freida [Pinto] and I have become people's access to India. I'm more a product of London than I am of anything, so that shapes you. People ask you, what am I? And I say British, first and foremost."