‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Child Actors

Friday, July 22 by Irving Oala

Who are the "Slumdog Millionaire" child actors? This Academy Award sweeping epic film about India by director Danny Boyle follows three children as they rise from the depths of the trash-ridden ghettos of Mumbai to grow up to follow very different paths: one as a hard-working young man who ends up on the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"; another as a criminal thug; and the third as the object of both of their affections. The film is told non-linearly, framed by each question our main character is asked on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and flashing back to where he learned the answer, with half the film following him and his friends as kids through the Indian underbelly. So who are these child actors from "Slumdog Millionaire"?

  1. Azharrudin Mohammed Ismail plays the young version of the character Salim, the character who grows up to be one of the heads of a gangster crew in Mumbai. He was born in one of the slums in Mumbai and still lives there. According to a number of different reports, his family's illegal hut was bulldozed by the government and he moved with his sick father to another area of the city. In 2009 his father died of tuberculosis, though a trust has been set up for him through his involvement in the film and he and his family are allowed to live in free housing now.
  2. Ayush Mahesh Khedekar plays the young version of the character Jamal, who is the star of the film and grows up to be on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" He is from a suburb of the city of Mumbai and has gone to school all of his life. His mother is a school teacher, his father is a theater actor and young Ayush has been acting in various plays, Indian movies and television shows since he was four years old. In 2008 he received a nomination from the British Film Awards for most promising newcomer.
  3. Rubina Ali plays the younger version of Latika, the object of both Jamal and Salim's affection. She is from a slum in Mumbai as well and according to various reports, still lives in an area of Mumbai without running water. A trust has been set up for her as well, as long as she continues her education up until she turns 18 years old. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her part in "Slumdog Millionaire."
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