Neel Sethi: Bill Murray and I used to play football together

Here's the latest update from the world of Bollywood. We bet you wouldn't want to miss this. Read on for details... The Jungle Book wonder shares his experience of working in the Disney film

11-year-old Neel Sethi is making his big screen debut as Mowgli in the much-awaited The Jungle Book. SpotboyE met up with the child actor for a quick chat. Excerpts:

What was your first reaction when you heard that you have been chosen?  
I was really happy. I’ve watched all Disney films and I couldn’t believe that I was going to star in one. My sister was more excited than me – as soon as she heard my news, she slammed her laptop shut without realising that her headphones were in between. There was a loud crack and we realised that she cracked her computer. But she couldn’t care less, she was so happy.   

What about your parents? Were they apprehensive?
They told me that I could do whatever I want to do. They did not really think of this as a big deal .

Have you seen the original Jungle Book of the 60s?
Yeah, that’s a classic. I love it. It’s one of the reasons why I went for the screen test. When I heard about the auditions, I instantly thought, ‘This is one film I want to audition for.’

How was it working with a director like Jon Favreau?
He’s a very cool guy. He would calm me down whenever I got nervous.

Who was your favourite co-star in the film?
I had a really good experience with Bill Murray (he lent his voice to the character of Baloo). We played football together. We had a brisket that Jon smoked for thirteen hours.

Who do you prefer as Kaa – Scarlett Johannson or Priyanka Chopra?
How can I pick between the best and the best?

How did you juggle your school and the shoot?
I would study in between shots. Whenever the team was setting up for the next shot, I would sit with my teacher and study. 

Are you enjoying your visit to India?
I have visited India several times with my parents. We would stay at my grandparents’ house.

Do you enjoy Indian food?
I like gol-gappa, dosa, biryani, mooli ka paratha…Back home, my mom makes Indian food almost every day.

Would you like to be a part of Bollywood films?
Yes, that would be cool – although I haven’t really seen any Hindi films. However, I love Priyanka Chopra because she’s Kaa and she does Hollywood films.

Do you intend to take up acting as a full-fledged career?
Maybe. It’s a lot of fun. But I also want to be a dentist. My parents are dentists, so I think I want to do that.

Image Source:  Manav Manglani, purepeople & youtube/UTV Motion Pictures