Playing Slumdog Salim
Madhur Mithal may not be touring the world and promoting Slumdog Millionaire like his co-stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto but there's no doubt that he is brilliant in the film as well.
Madhur plays Salim, Jamal Malik's (played by Patel) older brother, who gets a raw deal in life, and go wayward.
This may be Madhur's big break in the movies but not his first. He has done bit roles in Shah Rukh Khan's One Two Ka Four and Salman Khan's Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaye. He talks to Patcy N about his life, and Slumdog.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Agra. When I was seven years old, I won Boogie Woogie (a dance competition) in Mumbai by impersonating Michael Jackson. I was a great Michael Jackson fan and even wore my hair and dressed like him. After winning Boogie Woogie, I went on a US tour with Kalyandji-Anandji's group, Little Wonders. I did a lot of shows. I even joined a school in California. But within four months, I became homesick and returned to India.
My parents saw my potential and wanted to promote me. My father quit his job in Agra, and we moved to Mumbai. We knew it would be tough at first. We rented a place at Mira Road [a Western suburb in Mumbai] and I continued my schooling. Today, we own a flat in Mira Road.
I am doing a course on theatre management through correspondence. I am also assisting (choreographers) Ganesh Hegde, Ahmed Khan and Ganesh Acharya. But I have always wanted to be an actor.
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When did you land your first acting assignment?
Before moving to Mumbai, I did a small show for Doordarshan television network. The first film I signed was Shah Rukh Khan's One Two Ka Four, which took a long time to shoot. So my first release was Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaye with Salman Khan, which I had signed two years after signing One Two Ka Four.
In the video: Madhur acts out a scene from Slumdog Millionaire. Video: Uday Kuckian
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