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The Jungle Book's Neel Sethi wants to be a dentist

Published 14/04/2016

Neel Sethi
Neel Sethi

Neel Sethi, who stars as Mowgli in The Jungle Book, doesn't see acting in his future and instead hopes to be a dentist when he grows up.

The Jungle Book star Neel Sethi wants to be a dentist when he grows up.

The 10-year-old actor beat out 2,000 children to land the role of Mowgli in the live action adaptation of the original 1967 movie. While his portrayal of the wild youngster has already earned him rave reviews from critics, Neel doesn't solely see acting in his future.

"I want to do this but I also want to be a dentist like my parents," Neel smiled during an appearance on British television show Lorraine on Thursday (14Apr16). "And I also want to be a basketball player, a baseball player and a football player. I'll do all of it somehow!"

Prior to being cast as Mowgli, Neel hadn't had any acting experience. And in fact it was his athleticism that clinched him the role.

"It was my first audition. I had never thought about acting and my dance teacher was just like, 'You should do this, it's perfect for you!' And I did it and (here I am). He (director Jon Favreau) says I'm charismatic and fun to watch."

Jon also appeared on Lorraine, and spoke about the process of finding the perfect person to play Mowgli.

"We saw 2,000 kids actually," Jon explained. "Fortunately I didn't have to watch every single tape but we were searching all around the globe and they boil it down to the best of each lot, and this kid pops up on the tape and he starts doing martial arts and saying how he can do his own stunts...

"He had a lot of confidence and there was something about him. He was nine years old at the time and he really reminded me of Mowgli from the old Disney cartoon. That was a character I really connected with as a kid. Neel's an athlete too and I knew he was going to have to do a lot of climbing, jumping and parkour training."

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