One of the most photographed stars on the Oscars red carpet wasn’t Priyanka Chopra. It was Sunny Pawar, the little cub from Garth Davis’s Lion. At the 89th Academy Awards held on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Hollywood celebrities did not miss an opportunity to take a selfie with Pawar.
The eight-year-old boy plays Saroo, the younger version of Dev Patel’s character in the drama directed by Garth Davis. Lion received six nominations in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies), Best Original Score (Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka) and Best Cinematography (Greig Fraser).
Here are a few Sunny moments from the red carpet. The scene-stealer arrived on the red carpet in his bright sneakers and became an instant favourite with the crowd.
Pawar sure had his party shoes on when asked about his plans for the evening.
American model Chrissy Tiegen had no words for the little charmer.
And here is an endorsement from The Man himself.
He sure knew how to handle the attention. When asked who his favourite person at the event was, “Everyone,” Pawar said.
Also seen at the Oscars was Priyanka Chopra in an understated look.
Indian-origin British actor Dev Patel, who plays Pawar’s adult version in Lion, didn’t disappoint either, bringing his mother to the event.
Pawar got his big moment when host Jimmy Kimmel recreated a scene from the 1994 American animated musical film, Lion King.
The story of how Pawar landed the role of Saroo is the stuff of dreams. Garth Davis and casting director Kirsty McGregor looked all over India to find a suitable boy for the part. Pawar, who lives in a one-room house in a slum in Kalina in Mumbai, was at school when the casting team dropped in. He was shortlisted in the final three after 2000 kids were auditioned. Even then, Pawar did not get the role till the boy before him dropped out. Lion is his debut feature, and he is already at the Oscars. Will he be the next Sabu Dastagir?