Jai ho, jai ho, it's off to the Oscars they go.
All six children from the slums of Mumbai who appeared in Slumdog Millionaire
will be gracing the Kodak Theatre Sunday when the 10-time nominee
is favored to dominate.
The half-dozen Kids, who played the younger and middle versions of stars Dev Patel
, Freida Pinto
and Madhur Mittal
, are following in the rags-to-riches footsteps of their alter egos, taking their first trip out of India and on an airplane to join their higher-profile costars on the Red Carpet.
Fox Searchlight's James Finn announced that the studio was footing the bill for the last-minute visa and travel arrangements and that the Kids, along with relative-chaperones, would be put up in a five-star hotel during their visit.
"Not in my dreams did I ever think that I will go to America," 9-year-old Rubina Ali
, who portrayed the youngest version of Pinto in the film, told the Indian media. "I have to buy clothes and shoes for the award ceremony. I'm going to go and take a lot of Pictures and show them to people over here."
While the filmmakers have previously been criticized
for exploiting the children, offending slum-dwellers with its use of the titular "slumdog" and otherwise perpetuating negative stereotypes about India, director Danny Boyle
and the film's producers have long defended their responsible handling of the film and those involved.
Boyle & Co. recently revealed that they have given the children's families a monthly stipend, found them placement at an English-language school and set up trust funds that the children can access once they graduate.