Bhavin Rabari, the child star of India’s official Oscars 2023 pick – Chhello show – is one of the most promising talents in Indian showbiz. And his story is exciting, refreshing and encouraging at the same time.
Bhavin, who hails from the Rabari tribal community in Gujarat, shared in this interview with indianexpress.com that his community is mighty proud of his achievement as he is the first to have acted in a film and has acted globally. However, his heart does not beat there, instead he likes to walk with his cow “Laali” and his buffalo “Kaari”.
The eight-year-old said he had no understanding of Oscars and only acted in Chhello Show (The Last Film Show) because his teacher said he was chosen to be in a movie, and then he started enjoying filming have the movie.
“I only acted in the film. I didn’t know what Oscars were. I found out about Oscars long after we finished the film. I was told, ‘The film was selected for an Oscar.’ That’s when I learned what the Oscars are. I don’t watch a lot of movies, so I didn’t realize how important that was. Mr. Nalin informed us about this by telephone. Watching films is rare here. I don’t even enjoy it much, but I’ve started to like movies a little bit. I go to school and come home in the afternoon and then walk around the farm putting my cattle to graze, so I didn’t know much about all that,” Bhavin said.
When asked how his family reacted to the offer to star in the film, he said: “My father was upset that I went to the audition without telling him, my mother knew about it. But after Sir Nalin spoke to him he was supportive. He’s even with me when I’m promoting the film in Mumbai.”
Bhavin Rabari also shared how he became an overnight sensation at his school in Vasai village, fifteen kilometers from Jamnagar, Gujarat. “I study at the ‘Prathamin Saalaa‘ (government elementary school) in my village. All my friends go to the same school as me. My friends are happy that I’m in the film, but I miss them terribly.”
Bhavin is also conducting studies while promoting his film. The child actor explained how he does it all: “I’m a good student at school and I’m good at studying. My teacher helped me a lot since I’m not in school. I’m studying on the go and will be showing up for my exams soon.”
Bhavin Rabari went on to talk about how he came to his character Samay, who is in love with movies despite being someone who doesn’t enjoy watching movies himself. “Nalin, sir, guided me through the film. It felt like I was just playing with my friends. He gave me different tasks and shots every day. Traveling around while filming the film was fun and I learned a lot from him as well.”
Does he like the glitz and glamor that surrounds movies and will he consider acting as a career option? Bhavin said, “Not really. I belong to farms and my village. I want to be there. But if I have to play Samay again, I’d love to do it.” However, the child actor also shared that while he’s glad Chhello Show has entered the Oscar race, he doesn’t enjoy city life very much. “I don’t like the food here. I like what my mom cooks and the air conditioning here gives me a headache. Also, I don’t like sitting around for long periods of time.”
Chhello Show is a Gujarati coming of age drama that celebrates childhood and the joy of discovering the magic of movies. The theatrical release is scheduled for October 14th.