Patel was 16 years old when the teen dramedy on Channel 4's E4 premiered in 2007, marking his first acting role as horny Muslim teenager Anwar. “It felt like suicide in the community to put your kid into a TV show and let him drop out of school at 16,” Patel said in an interview with The New York Times. “While everyone else’s kid is off becoming a doctor or a dentist, I’m here on this TV show,” he said, “simulating sex and taking drugs.” Patel said the show's popularity cut both ways. While the money was enough to partially change his life, Skins' cult following was a burden. “I was a young kid going on these chat rooms and it was quite brutal,” Patel said. “There were all these lists of who’s the favorite character on the show or who was the best-looking character, and I was always the ugliest, the least attractive. No one liked Anwar. It really took a toll on me personally.” This week, Patel was named to Buzzfeed's list of the hottest Asian actors. But Patel's Skins experience has left him weary about compliments about his looks.