In Sunny Pawar, the world has found a new favourite
Despite his childlike voice, Sunny Pawar surprises us with a confident conversation. We ask the eight-year-old actor, who plays the younger Saroo Brierly in Garth Davis’ Lion how many interviews he has done all day. “I don’t know. I lost count. I get quite tired,” quips the youngster who just got back to Mumbai from having met the likes of the Obamas, Stephen Colbert and other popular American icons during the course of the film’s promotions in the US. “I got back and went straight to school to study,” explains Sunny while telling us about his love for mathematics and books in detail.
Picked out of 2,000 kids who auditioned when the film’s casting directors came down to Mumbai, Sunny, then five, was yet to see life outside his slum in Kalina. From the streets of the slums to red carpets across the world, he has grabbed eyeballs, his popularity mirroring that of Jacob Tremblay (of Room fame).
“We roamed around a lot. I really liked Australia. It was fun to feed the kangaroos and play cricket with Nicole,” he says excitedly as we ask him about the shoot that took place predominantly in India and Australia. Fluent only in Hindi and Marathi, Sunny says, “I used to memorise my lines. It took a lot of hard work.”
Favourite scene? “I loved the scenes in the train,” he shares. He might not have seen a single one of his movies but quiz him about his favourite cast member and he blurts out a spontaneous ‘Dev Patel’. Sunny will be seen next in Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia.
— Lavanya Lakshminarayanan