From Mumbai to the Oscars — 8-year-old Sunny Pawar's incredible journey
The 89th Academy Awards may be over, but the internet cannot get enough of eight-year-old Sunny Pawar. The Indian child actor who acted in the Oscar-nominated movie Lion starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman was a huge hit with the stars at the awards. Host Jimmy Kimmel even went on to pick Sunny up in his arms.
Sunny, who plays the role of Saroo Brierley, the younger version of Dev Patel, joined the Slumdog Millionaire actor on stage while he introduced their film. Lion is the true story of a young child who is separated from his family and later gets adopted by an Australian family. When he grows up, he uses Google Earth to find his parents.
Here is the trailer:
Sunny used phonetics to learn and speak English as he speaks only Hindi. Initially, director Garth Davis had to struggle a bit, but only until Sunny overcame the obstacles with hard work. Garth and casting director Kristy McGregor went through over 2,000 tapes and zeroed in on Sunny for this role. In an interview with Vulture, Garth said, "For me, when I’m looking at all the kids, anyone who kind of touched that place in me, I thought we were getting close. But it was never a bull’s-eye, really, until one day, this little Sunny came into the room and he was kind of pretty instant for me."
Actor Dev Patel, in his chat with Daily Telegraph, had to say this about Sunny, "He’s our little mascot on this movie. For him, he’d never been on a plane before or seen a Hollywood film and now he’s leading this big movie. He’s so beautifully innocent and that’s why you get such a beautiful performance from him. He’s just really enjoying it."
Though Sunny is passionate about choosing acting as a career option, he is also interested in becoming an IPS officer and joining the Mumbai Police. He loves WWE and is very keen on attending a match soon, which he missed during his press tours. Otherwise, this adorable little actor likes to eat and sleep.
The charismatic eight-year old's favourite movie is Hrithik Roshan's Krrish and he wants to play the role of the superhero in the future.
Whether or not he gets to play his favourite superhero, for a child actor from India to be on the red carpet at the Oscars is an achievement in itself.