Image result for Another Mumbai slumkid Sunny Pawar basks in Oscar glory

Image result for Another Mumbai slumkid Sunny Pawar basks in Oscar glory

Mumbai (IANS): Mumbai
slumkid and “Lion” star Sunny
Pawar basked in the limelight
at the 89th Academy Awards
ceremony where he won accolades
from the audience having
some of the world’s greatest
actors after re-enacting a scene
from “The Lion King” with host
Jimmy Kimmel. The sevenyear-
old was selected from
2,000 children across schools
in India to play the role of the
young Saroo Brierley.
A Class 3 student of the Air India
Model School where he is good
in studies, Sunny and his younger
brother and sister, live with
parents Dilip Pawar, a former
government office sweeper,
and home-maker mother Vasu,
in a slum in Kalina in the western
suburbs, near the airport.
Despite his humble background,
Sunny zoomed through
auditioning rounds in Mumbai
and Pune to land a plum role in
the blockbuster Hollywood biographical
film “Lion’, sources
close to his family and the production
house said.
“Sunny was selected from
around 2,000 talented children
in a hunt in schools all over
India, culminating in the final
auditions held in Mumbai and
Pune some one-and-half year
ago. He fitted the role perfectly,”
a source told IANS.
Sunny is cast in the role of a
young Saroo Brierley, who was
stranded in a train which catapulted
him hundreds of kms
away from home to busy Kolkata.
There, he ekes out an existence
on the footpaths, before a
young Australian couple adopts
him. The elder version of Saroo
was played by Dev Patel in the
film.
Though he could barely speak
English, Sunny’s bubbly, charismatic
presence more than
made up the communication
shortcomings, with the cooperation
of the entire film crew.
“Film director, Garth Davis had
to put in a lot of efforts with
Sunny during the shooting in India
and Australia. For instance,
he used sign language to make
Sunny understand the dialogues,
enact the sad or emotional
scenes,” said the source.
The first half of the film, mostly
hogged by the little Sunny, is in
Hindi and he delivered the dialogues
with ease and finesse.
But on the sets – his shooting
schedules spanned over three
months in Kolkata and Madhya
Pradesh in India, and Melbourne,
Tasmania in Australia
– he was accorded ordinary
treatment.
“No pampering of any sort, no
special treatment in any manner.
After all, he was playing a
very emotional role and was
required to keep that demeanour,”
the source explained.
But, he chilled out a lot with his
on-screen mother, Nicole Kidman,
who he also taught to play
cricket, and with his on-screen
father, David Wenham. Some
of those scenes finally figured
even in the released film.
At the shootings, Sunny was accompanied
by his father and
translator Rahul to interact with
the production team and others.
Sunny has become the most
popular child star of the awards
season.
Close on the success of “Lion”,
“Love Sonia” featuring Sunny
and another Mumbai girl Frieda
Pinto is ready for release later
this year.
“However, he has not exactly
been swamped with offers from
Bollywood. But that is because
he has remained extremely tied
up with ‘Lion’ and ‘Love Sonia’
and was away from the country
for several spells,” the source
said.
It is not known when Sunny will
return home, but he can surely
expect a Lion’s welcome!
Incidentally, exactly 10 years
ago, some slum children from
Mumbai had grabbed global
attention with Danny Boyles’
“Slumdog Millionaire”, which
incidentally starred a muchyounger
Dev Patel in a key role.
The main child actors in that
multi-Oscar winning film – Rubina
Ali, Azharuddin Mohammed
Ismail and Tanvi Ganesh
Lonkar – are now grown-up
teenagers leading normal lives
in Mumbai, away from the arc
lights.