Lord Owen’s Lady: The luck factor

Fairytale ride continues for Slumdog Millionaire children.


News Desk March 27, 2012



From the slums to flats and from Slumdog Millionaire to another international film with Anthony Hopkins, the dream ride continues for Rubina Rafiq Qureshi, 14, and Azharuddin Ismail.


The two child artists, who were spotted in the slums of India to star in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, will now be seen in British director-producer Martin Pennell’s Lord Owen’s Lady, according to IANS.

Lord Owen’s Lady, a love story between a Welsh nobleman and a naively romantic Indian woman, will be shot in London and Shimla and Rubina’s father, Rafiq Qureshi, is hoping to accompany his daughter.

Qureshi, whose family has moved from a tenement to a flat in Bandra after his daughter appeared in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, is jubilant. “I am extremely happy that my daughter has got such a huge film. She will start shooting for the film in the next two to four months. We have been told that she will be paid ₤1,000 a day,” he said.

Rubina’s co-star Azharuddin, who is also 14, is going places too. He has moved into his flat in the suburb of Santacruz as well and studies in fourth grade. The one cloud in his happiness, however, is the absence of his father, who passed away last year. “We were told about the film a year ago, we signed it at that time. Azhar’s father expired in 2011 during Ramazan. The film was signed when his father was alive and his father wanted him to do the film and grow in life,” Azhar’s mother Sharmeen Shaikh Ismail told IANS.

“Danny makes it a point to meet Azhar and Rubina whenever he comes to India. Last time Azhar and Rubina met Danny at JW Marriott hotel. He said he would cast Azhar and Rubina whenever he makes his next film,” she added.

According to mediaticks.com, Slumdog Millionaire child actors Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Rafiq were gifted an apartment each by the Maharashtran government for their excellent acting prowess and Slumdog Millionaire success.“These children have brought laurels to the country. It is our duty to look after and safeguard them,” Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh said.

Ibnlive.com reports that the third child actor seen in Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning film, Ayush Mahesh Khadekar, the son of a civil engineer, has also found a role in the film that stars Rohini Hattangadi along with Silence of the Lambs star Hopkins.

Ayush’s story is a little different. His father’s a civil engineer and his mother a teacher; so his is not the rags to riches story. But Mahesh is equally happy that his 11-year-old son has got another international project. “I am not craving for money. I only want Ayush to do some sensible projects,” he told IANS.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.

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