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Interview: Neel Sethi on THE JUNGLE BOOK

Twelve year old acting wunderkind Neel Sethi is a joy to watch both onscreen and off. The delightful pre-teen beat out over two thousand other actors to win the role of Mowgli in the otherwise entirely CGI and magnificent visual effects laden The Jungle Book. We were very lucky to speak with the entertaining Sethi in an intimate roundtable interview in downtown Toronto prior to the film’s release.

Scene Creek: What was your favorite aspect of working with (The Jungle Book director) Jon Favreau? 

Neel Sethi: He’s really funny! When there was nothing to do and everyone was waiting around silently he’d just crack some jokes and everyone would start laughing. And his cooking, oh my God! He made grilled cheese AND brisket. You’ve seen the movie Chef, right? He made the grilled cheese from Chef. You know what he said? He said that James Bond made martinis for everyone on set once, and that was kind of funny. So he said that he should make grilled cheese for everybody.

SC: King Louie (voiced by Christopher Walken) sings in his iconic song in the film that he wants to be just like you. Who do you aspire to be like? 

NS: Captain America! He’s tall and strong. He’s my favorite superhero.

SC: You got to work a lot and interact with Bill Murray. What was that like? 

NS: Oh it was a lot of fun. Me and Jon Favreau flew on a private jet to Martha’s Vineyard and we met Bill there. I played football with him while Jon made brisket for us. You know, a normal day.

SC: You mentioned that you’re a big fan of Captain America, yet your director helmed Iron Man and Iron Man 2.  Are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? 

NS: Can’t everyone just get along? I bet four movies from now they’re going to fight the DC heroes in some way. I mean there’s Batman versus Superman, Captain America versus Iron Man, so there could be a title fight. If you watch the trailer for Captain America: Civil War Spiderman comes in and I’m leaning towards him because Spider-man is really amazing. Team Spiderman then! I wish Spiderman and Captain America formed a duo like Batman and Robin. Imagine that! That would be fun.


The Jungle Book opens in theaters Friday April 15th.

Leora Heilbronn

Leora Heilbronn is a Toronto based film aficionado who has a weakness for musicals and violent action flicks. She can often be spotted reading a wide range of literature or listening to show tunes.