Los Angeles: Director John Favreau says he chose Indian-American star Neel Sethi to play Mowgli in 'The Jungle Book' because the young star had "tremendous charisma" and seemed "self-assured".
Sethi reminded Favreau of Mowgli and the director is happy that the movie has resonated so well with both young and adults.
"There were, I think, 2,000 auditions. It was whittled down a bit before it was presented to me so I didn't see all of them, but he was one of the people that kind of popped. He was from Manhattan, he didn't have any experience, he'd never auditioned before, but he had tremendous charisma," the director told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview.
Favreau said Sethi was very unflappable and that when he met the child he was incredibly self-assured and didn't seem intimidated.
"I remember from Mowgli in the animated cartoon. He reminded me very much of the kid from the animated cartoon, even the physicality and the way he moves around. I thought he brought this really nice watchable human quality to a character that a lot was going to be pivoting on," he said.