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Dev Patel 'didn't think anyone was going to show up' to 'Monkey Man' premiere — then got a standing ovation

The actor recalled getting emotional as the credits rolled and shared what the film means to him.

Dev Patel is recalling the huge standing ovation he got at his "Monkey Man" premiere.

During a March 29 appearance on TODAY, Patel was asked what it was like to see so many people applaud his movie as the credits rolled, and he said he wasn't expecting it at all.

"You know, I really didn't think anyone was going to show up," Patel said. "I'd kind of been out of the limelight for over a decade. I turned down some of the most incredible opportunities I've been dreaming of as an actor."

While they were pulling up to the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, where the film's world premiere was taking place, Patel recalled seeing a long line and thinking it was for another film.

"We're on our way there in the car and there was a queue three blocks down. And I was like, is the Ryan Gosling film showing tonight?" he said. Then, the people in the car told Patel, "No, they're here for you."

"Everyone was on their feet," he said of the moment he got a standing ovation in the theater.

"I shed a tear, embarrassing, not quite the action hero kind of flex," he teased.

Patel is making his feature-length directional debut with "Monkey Man." The "Slumdog Millionaire" star is credited with starring and also co-writing the film.

Read on to learn more about Patel's upcoming movie, "Monkey Man."

What is 'Monkey Man' about?

"Monkey Man" tells the fictional story of an anonymous young man named Kid (Patel) who seeks revenge against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mom and take advantage of the poor.

During his TODAY appearance on March 29, Patel revealed why he wanted to do this film, which was at least 10 years in the making.

"For me, it was about representation," he said. "I wanted someone like myself, my culture, my ancestry — I wanted a new edition to the action genre, someone that was a true underdog that didn't look like he was bursting out of his suit and could easily defeat the bad guys. As a lover of the genre, as a consumer of action films, I wanted them to be more for me, and I think the film has a tremendous soul. It's really got a beating heart."

Is there a trailer for 'Monkey Man'?

There are a couple of trailers out that give viewers a sneak peek of the film's action-packed plot. The first trailer dropped in January, which introduces Patel's character in a serious of fight scenes, followed by the second one shared in March, which reveals a bit more on how his mother's death is part of his revenge quest.

When is 'Monkey Man' coming out?

"Monkey Man" is set to be released in theaters across the United States on April 5.

Dev Patel
Dev Patel as Kid in "Monkey Man."Universal Pictures

Who is cast in 'Monkey Man'?

According to Universal Pictures, which is owned by TODAY's parent company, NBCUniversal, Patel stars in the film alongside Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Sikandar Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte and Makarand Deshpande.

What has Dev Patel said about 'Monkey Man'?

On March 29, Patel recalled on TODAY what it was like to star in the film and said he did most of his own stunts, which caused him to break a few of his bones.

"I broke some toes to begin with and then I broke my hand in the middle of a shoot. I had to go and finish the scene and then put a screw in it and carry on going. (I) tore a shoulder. I'm not like Jackie Chan but, yeah," he said.

Patel estimated that he did 97% of his stunts, saying he was inspired by a quote in the movie to keep going, despite the injuries he endured.

"There's a quote in the movie, which is, 'The pain will leave you once it's finished teaching you,' and it kind of spoke to me. That was the process of the whole film," he said.