Just a few days after her co-star Azharuddin Ismail saw his home razed to the ground, Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali’s home has also been bulldozed. The young actress reportedly rushed into the shack in the Mumbai slums at the last minute to rescue the dress she wore to the Oscars ceremony three months ago, while her father (who was accused of trying to sell her) was beaten by the Indian authorities after confronting officials.
“Why are they doing this? Where are we going to live?” Rubina reportedly sobbed. If anything positive has come out of this horrible situation, the famous child stars of the Oscar-winning flick have drawn attention to the plight of India’s slum children. But what’s going to happen to them? [Photo: AFP]
Slumdog Millionaire child star Azharuddin Ismail,9, has been forced out onto the streets after city authorities in Mumbai demolished his home. Azharuddin’s shanty home was one of several illegally-built homes along a drain that were demolished on Thursday.
“When they came I was sleeping, they shook me awake and one policeman even threatened me,” Azharuddin, who played Salim as a child in the film, said.
Azharuddin’s mother is frustrated at the lack of help her family has received, especially after the monster success of the film her son starred in. “My son has brought glory to the country, shouldn’t he get some credit?” she asked. [Source: Reuters; Photo: Getty Images]
In a shocking and sad report, it’s claimed that the father of Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali offered to sell his daughter for $300,000. Undercover reporters from the News of the World posed as a wealthy family from Dubai after receiving a tip-off, and met with Rubina’s father and uncle. Desperate to escape their poverty-stricken lives in the slums of Mumbai, in a country where child trafficking is not unusual, they allegedly discussed the illegal sale openly in a hotel.
“Yes, we are interested in securing our girl’s future. Rubina’s life is miserable and she lives here with her stepmother. Most of the time she stays with me because she is not happy at her parents’ home. Obviously if you wanted to adopt we could discuss this, but her parents would also expect some proper compensation in return… The child is special now. This is NOT an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child!” said her uncle Rajan Moore.
Today Rubina’s – who played Latika in the hit movie – father Rafiq denied offering to sell his daughter, and insisted he was meeting to discuss a film role. But it’s a stark reminder that even for the film’s stars, their reality just a few weeks after being the darlings of the Academy Awards, is more brutal than any of us can comprehend. [Photo: Getty Images]
Well, this was destined to happen. All the celebrities who heaped praise on Slumdog Millionaire are snuggled up in their Beverly Hills beds as the kid stars of the hit flick readjust to their former lives. And what sh*tty former lives they are.
Azharuddin Ismail, who played the young Salim, is sick and complaining about his living conditions. His mom tells the press that he is struggling to adjust back to his old life, and the child, plagued with a 103 degree fever, said, “I am very sad. I feel sleepy, hot and sick all the time. I can’t get to sleep here – there are too many mosquitoes and it is so hot. I just wish I was in America still.”
His co-star Rubina Ali, who played the young Latika, has expressed a similar desire to hop on the next plane to LAX and make Hollywood her home. “I don’t want to live here in the slum anymore,” she apparently told the Telegraph, while still dressed in her Oscar gown. “I don’t want to sleep on the floor anymore. I want a proper bed and live where the air does not smell of poo. I have seen what it is like in America. Here, there is garbage everywhere, people get angry, swear and shout. I have realised how bad life is here. I just want to get out.”
Indian social workers are troubled that the kids aren’t getting more help from director Danny Boyle, or the Indian authorities. “I cannot believe these kids have just been left like this after being taken to Hollywood. It is bound to affect them psychologically,” said one professional. A wise point, but the social worker fails to note that being used and then forgotten Hollywood might even hurt them more. [Photo: GettyImages]
The amazing Slumdog Millionaire just can’t shrug off that Oscar glow. Fresh from the news that the adorable child stars are going to get their own houses in India is the incredibly exciting announcement that Dev Patel is going to appear in the ACTUAL television show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in the UK. He’s reported to be in negotiations to play alongside director Danny Boyle to try and win a million quid for children’s street charity Railway Children.
“We were approached by Railway Children about doing the special — and we think it would be fantastic. Danny and Dev would play together, as with all our celebrity specials, but filming depends on their availability,” a production source tells The Sun.
Reports are also swirling that producers are planning a musical version of the hit movie — just like, er, Sister Act! — with profits to be ploughed back into the slums and kids’ charities. And Freida Pinto’s been signed up by Woody Allen to be in his next movie. And look – here’s a lovely photo of the kids at LAX, before they went back to India for a heroes’ welcome. Ahhhh. Can we take anymore feelgood news? [Photo: Splash News Online]
This kind of stuff normally only happens to characters in movies, but in this case it’s happening to the people starring in them. The two child stars of Slumdog Millionaire who portrayed the adult leads – Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail – are being rewarded for their on-camera work with new homes. Both kids currently live in slums similar to the ones their characters escape from, but their government leaders are about to change all that.
The head of Mumbai’s housing authority said, “Since the children have made the nation proud, they must be given free houses. The chief minister of the state has approved this. Their families will receive notification in a couple of days.”
Hurray! Free houses! Their new digs may not end up being super fancy, but Ali’s dad is still pumped, telling an Indian paper: “We are happy that we will have a permanent roof over our heads.” The adorable actors also have trust funds for college set up by the film’s director, Danny Boyle. [Photo: GettyImages]
Welcome to Red Carpet Report Card: Oscars Edition, where the stars are put to the biggest red carpet fashion test of the year at the 2009 Academy Awards. See how our Fashion 101 teacher, Libby Keatinge, grades Beyonce, Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, and Natalie Portman on their red carpet performances. Did they do their homework, or sleep through the semester?
Paris Hilton has always expressed a liking for all things international – Paris Lastis, Stavros Niarchos, and hash. The sex-hungry heiress now has her sights set on the most popular Brit in Hollywood, Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame.
Paris apparently zoned in on the actor at an Oscar party, and then dragged him outside to a garden for some alone time while her ex Benji Madden and the Olsen twins stood by, gawking. Pattinson escaped the wrath of the wonk eye due to an early flight to Japan, and he exhibited better judgment earlier in the evening, when he was reportedly flirting with Natalie Portman at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. [Photo: GettyImages]
We had high hopes for Evan Rachel Wood – she killed it in the The Wrestler, demonstrated sophisticated red carpet fashion sense at the Oscars, has creamy skin, and may or may not have boned Mickey Rourke. But this up and coming starlet has thrown it all away once again, to return to the pasty arms of her ex-flame, Marilyn Manson.
Apparently the reunited couple was spotted together at the W Hotel in Los Angeles the morning of the Oscars. Outside the chic spot, Manson got the couple’s car and then supposedly told someone that he was, “waiting for his girlfriend.”
We had hoped Evan would at least spend a few months shacking up with the usual Hollywood suspects – the single Madden twin, Wilmer Valderamma - but alas, she couldn’t resist her man and his makeup. [NYP]
A day later, a different time zone, and Kate Winslet still hasn’t put down that Oscar. The Reader actress was spotted in JFK Airport yesterday, showing off her Academy Award to onlookers. Winslet said “winning is sure a lot better—a lot better—than losing,” and we have no doubt this is the brightest she’s ever beamed the Monday after the ceremony.
If she’s going to flaunt the golden boy 24-7, why the green cover? “I have to show my kids before I show anyone.” Hope the kids don’t see photos of it waved around the after-party, then.
[Photo: Splash News Online]