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Jungle Book star Neel Sethi wants to be a dentist

Living in New York, Neel comes from a Punjabi family and wants to be a dentist as both his parents are dentists


By Yajush Gupta

“I showed a karate move and I said, ..I don’t need no stunt double, and they really, they started laughing” 

Neel Sethi on his Mowgli audition

Born on December 22, 2003 in New York, USA, Neel Sethi is a young,charismatic child actor who secured a breakout role as Mowgli of the classic tale of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle book’. He also starred in Diwali (2013), a short comedy directed by Raj Trivedi. He is an Indian-American originally from the New York City.

He was selected for the role of Mowgli among 2000 others, who auditioned across the globe. Also, he is the only real human character in The Jungle Book with everyone else providing voices for animals. He landed a starring role in The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau.

Neel Sethi via Wikimedia Commons
Neel Sethi via Wikimedia Commons

He comes from a Punjabi family and wanted to be a dentist as both his parents are dentist. At first, he might just seem to be a bit shy and an introvert,  but the real deal is only revealed after a few minutes of interaction with the Indian-origin actor.

Just like any bright child of his age, the 12-year-old wants to be everything when he grows up.

“I love acting. But, I want to do everything! I want to do dentistry, I want to be an actor, and I want to be a sportsperson as well.”

While Neel spends most of his time in the states, he makes sure to have ‘ Golgappas’ whenever he comes to India and loves watching Bollywood films

“I have come to India before as my grandparents are here. I love India because this is my home. This is so different from usual New York from where I come. It’s so different and cool,…Golgappas I can have 27 in one go. I tried to beat my sister but that did not happen.”

So, how did Director Jon Favreau discovered the perfect Mowgli in Neel Sethi?

As The Jungle Book maintains its top spot at the box office for the second time in a row now and critics have found the actor Neel Sethi, an incredible talent on the Big screen, but it was a tough row to hoe for the child actor at first. Like every big Hollywood movie, it all came down to what’s called the “cattle call” in casting, more than 2,000 child actors showed up to audition for the aspiring role of Mowgli. Still, Sethi clearly stood out ,”He had a little spunk and some real swagger,” he said during a press tour for the film. Earlier, in 2014 when it was announced that Neel Sethi would play as Mowgli, Favreau told the Oh My Disney blog:

Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative. Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it”

Neel Sethi arrives in Mumbai with his family via
Neel Sethi arrives in Mumbai with his family Picture via

The young 12-year-old is a huge fan of bollywood movies, and was really excited to show his grandparents, the jungle book.

 “I love watching Indian films, but I haven’t seen a Bollywood film in a long time, because I have been pretty busy. But I have seen Irfan’s Talwar recently, and I thought that it was a really cool film..My grandparents thought it was really cool. You know for them, Mowgli was just like a superhero. To them, I guess he was what Spider man is to us”

And rightly so. Mowgli has been a hero for all of us. Especially for all 90s kids or older, the new Jungle Book movie must have been a flashback to those nostalgic memories of those Sunday sipping of horlicks right in front of our black and white television eagerly waiting for the animated Doordarshan TV series ‘Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli’ to begin. Along with the music,” Jungle Jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai…Arre chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai phool khila hai, phool kila hai” still can give us goosebumps.

Neel Sethi further had good things to say about director Favreau,as he helped and inspired him to do even better and be creative. Speaking to The Independent, Sethi said that Favreau played a big part in making those interactions seem natural.There were puppets that helped me, so it wasn’t just a tennis ball that I was trying to have emotion with. When an animal is supposed to be sad, the puppet would drop its head [Sethi makes sad face], and when it was happy, it would be happy [arms up, huge smile]. Jon got into the puppet at times. I got to interact with him which made it a lot easier.

the jungle book official US Teaser via
the jungle book official US Teaser via

The 12 year Neel also revealed his fondness for the Priyanka Chopra.“I love Priyanka Chopra because she plays ‘Kaa’ in the Hindi version. She is now in Hollywood too. I would love to act with her, and everybody in Bollywood. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.” he said in an interview.

For his Hollywood debut, Neel Sethi couldn’t have asked for a bigger role and neither any could have picked a harder role for his first act. despite this, he has been terrific in the movie. And with this enthuthiasm and energy, we can expect a lot from the young-12-year old, Neel Sethi ,the star of Disney’s live action film, The Jungle Book, based on Rudyard Kipling’s most beloved stories.

Yajush is a student of journalism. Twitter : @yajush_gupta

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Where is Indian Television Steering? ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ Shows a Young Boy and Mature Girl in Wedlock

The show features Tejaswi Prakash Wayanganka as Diya Ratan Sing and Afaan Khan as Ratan Singh

Pehredar Piya Ki
A still from television show Pehredar Piya Ki. Youtube

– by Naina Mishra

July 26, 2017: Recently, a show called ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ has been gaining popularity all for the wrong reasons. The show showcases an uncanny marital bond between a girl and boy. What’s appalling is the age difference between the duos. The boy is merely 10 years old and the girl is eight years older than him. The show features Tejaswi Prakash Wayanganka as Diya Ratan Sing and Afaan Khan as Ratan Singh.

The director of the film ousted the backlash by saying that “there’s no romantic situation. It’s a bonding between the boy and the girl. The scenes are innocent scenes. Ratan, the boy always has a dreamy eye for the girl believing she’s a fairy. He’s always in the same mood and thought.  It’s a special kind of a bond, not romance”, as reported by Desimartini.

Pehredar Piya Ki
A still from Pehredar Piya Ki. Youtube

The male lead, Ratan, is seen stalking the girl he wants to marry. In his fantasy world, the 18-year-old girl is akin to fairies from the fairy land. No wonder, how sensible it sounds to the makers of the show but such portrayal of a child will leave the viewers of the same age group in a tight spot.

Selling anything in the name of content is unjustifiable Click To Tweet

For a long time now, Indian television industry has used children to earn a highly engaged audience. The information acquired through what is being depicted on television distorts the mind of a child. A child may not be able to comprehend the deeply embedded meanings in the series; they only acquire what appears to them the most apparent. What children are watching on screen makes a crucial difference, and it is obligatory for those at the helm of it to take the accountability of the shows that involve children. It is widely believed that what children see on television influence their attitude and behavior. They are likely to feel some of their first time experiences in life particularly at the formative stage.

Diya, the female lead marries Ratan of the royal household to become his protector. The show revolves around the girl who will discover her hidden warrior traits as and when the time comes. She is said to protect the boy, which further sounds nonsensical. If at all, the makers wanted to show the strength of a girl, they wouldn’t have tied her in wedlock. What appears palpable is the loss of childhood innocence with such shows. The conception of marriage is way broader than how it is depicted in the show.

ALSO READ: Shivgami Devi of Baahubali: The abode of all character a Woman Dwells 

Not to ignore, a girl child marrying a man double of her age, which is as wicked as its opposite is considered normal for our society. No one tries to object the strange wedlock of the child bride owing to its acceptance.
It’s shocking to see how the time has flown. From growing up watching 90’s kids shows like, “Hum Paanch, Malgudi Days and Mowgli”, it horrifying to see children growing up watching serials like ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ now. The content of the shows has regressed. Moreover, it is the audience which allows such shows to thrive. If there will no audience to watch, such shows will not survive a single day. There are lots of intelligent content and shows which are not regressive. The power to decide lies in the hands of viewers. Children have a tendency to follow what is projected on the screen and it ultimately reflects in the society. Selling anything in the name of content is unjustifiable.

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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10 Amazing Contenders to advance in Visual Effects Category at the 89th Oscars

Among them the best five will be shortened for final Oscar consideration

The top ten competitors of visual effects category 2016 Academy Awards include Jungle book, arrival and many more
Om puri honoured at Academy Awards, Wikimedia

Los Angeles, Dec 17, 2016: The 10 contenders that will advance in the visual effects category at the 89th Academy awards are- “The Jungle Book”, “Arrival” and Harry Potter spin-off “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“The BFG”, “Captain America: Civil War”, “Deepwater Horizon”, “Doctor Strange”, “Kubo and the Two Strings”, “Passengers” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”- are among the others.

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Among them the best five will be shortened for final Oscar consideration.

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24 with final ceremony slated to take place on Sunday, February 26, 2017

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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The Jungle Book makes a hit in India too

Cast member Neel Sethi poses at the premiere of "The Jungle Book" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Director of the movie Jon Favreau (R) poses with cast members (L-R) Ritesh Rajan, Giancarlo Esposito, Lupita Nyong'o, Neel Sethi and Ben Kingsley at the premiere of "The Jungle Book" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Director of the movie Jon Favreau (R) poses with cast members (L-R) Ritesh Rajan, Giancarlo Esposito, Lupita Nyong’o, Neel Sethi and Ben Kingsley at the premiere of “The Jungle Book” at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

By Dave McNary

LOS ANGELES ( – Disney’s “The Jungle Book” showed serious traction at the North American box office, dominating moviegoing for a second straight weekend with $60.8 million at 4,028 locations.

The family-friendly tentpole declined only 41% from its opening frame and left Universal’s launch of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” in the dust with $20 million at 3,791 locations.

“The Jungle Book” posted the best second weekend of 2016, topping the $56.5 million second frame for “Deadpool,” and will wind up the weekend with $191.5 million after ten days — already the fourth-largest 2016 title behind “Deadpool” at $361 million, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” at $319 million and “Zootopia” at $316.4 million.

Internationally, the results are equally impressive with an additional $96 million and a decline of only 32% from the prior weekend for an international total of $337 million and global cume to date of $528 million. “The Jungle Book” is the highest-grossing Hollywood release in India with $28.8 million and is less than $3 million short of the $100 million mark in China.

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” starring Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron, debuted at the low end of forecasts in North America with $20.1 million amid mostly downbeat reviews and a B+ CinemaScore. The audience was 61% female and 53% under 30.

The prequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” carries a price tag of $115 million, so the studio will need a strong international performance to break even. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” had already opened in 27 foreign territories last weekend and added 37 more for a weekend of $32.1 million in 64 territories for an international total of $80.2 million.

In China, “The Huntsman” opened in third place with $11.1 million at 5,932 sites behind the second week of “The Jungle Book” and a local film.

The first “Huntsman,” starring Kristen Stewart as Snow White, was a solid box office performer with a $56.2 million opening weekend in the U.S. on its way to a $155 million domestic total, plus another $241 million overseas.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with ComScore, noted that the new “Huntsman” had been hit by tough reviews while the original benefited from Stewart’s participation while she was starring in the “Twilight” franchise.

He added that the sterling performance by “The Jungle Book” signals strong continued moviegoing in the upcoming weeks with Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” launching on May 6.

“You could not ask for a better lead in for the upcoming start of the summer movie season of 2016 than ‘The Jungle Book,'” Dergarabedian said. “Its incredible (and somewhat unexpected) success is stoking the fires of box office momentum and is loading up multiplexes with herds of film fans of all ages who are getting pumped up and ready for the official start on May 6 with the incredible ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and then the onslaught of blockbuster hopefuls from every studio week after week.”

“‘The Jungle Book’ proves that a four-quadrant PG-rated movie can have appeal to virtually every demographic and with the quality of moviemaking to back up the hype, the results have been staggering,” he added.