Jungle Book director Jon Favreau has all good things to say about Neel Sethi

  • PTI, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Apr 16, 2016 18:40 IST
Giancarlo Esposito, from left, Lupita Nyong'o, Neel Sethi and Ben Kingsley, Jon Favreau and Ritesh Rajan arrive at the premiere of The Jungle Book at the El Capitan Theatre. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Everyone is loving Neel Sethi as the new Mowgli and we all have director John Favreau to thank. He says he chose the Indian-American star for The Jungle Book because the he had “tremendous charisma” and seemed “self-assured.

Sethi reminded Favreau of Mowgli and the director is happy that the movie has resonated so well with both young and adults.

Neel Sethi, right, and Baloo the bear, voiced by Bill Murray, appear in a scene from the movie. (AP)

“There were, I think, 2,000 auditions. It was whittled down a bit before it was presented to me so I didn’t see all of them, but he was one of the people that kind of popped. He was from Manhattan, he didn’t have any experience, he’d never auditioned before, but he had tremendous charisma,” the director told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview.

Read: The Jungle Book has earned Rs 74 crore in first week and it’s a big deal

Mowgli, portrayed by Neel Sethi, left, and Gray, voiced by Brighton Rose, appear in a scene from, The Jungle Book. (AP)

Favreau said Sethi was very unflappable and when he met the child he was incredible self-assured and didn’t seem intimidated.

Actor Neel Sethi signs autographs upon arrival at the premiere of the film Jungle Book in London, Wednesday, April 13, 2016. (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

“I remember from Mowgli in the animated cartoon. He reminded me very much of the kid from the animated cartoon, even the physicality and the way he moves around. I thought he brought this really nice watchable human quality to a character that a lot was going to be pivoting on,” he said.

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