Slumdog Kids Are Oscar-Bound

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2009 7:37 PM CST
Rubina Ali Qureshi, 9, second left, and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, right, wave as they enter the international airport terminal in Mumbai, India, Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
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(Newser) – A world away from the slums where they live, the young stars of Slumdog Millionaire cruised Mumbai in an air-conditioned Toyota today, doing last-minute shopping and getting advice on the unimaginable: air travel. The Slumdog kids had just got the good news—they were going to the Oscars. "I feel very, very, very, very, very, very good," 10-year-old Azharuddin Ismail said.

All nine actors who play the three lead characters in three stages of their lives will attend the awards ceremony Sunday, the AP reports. Some are comfortable with the red carpet, but others—like Ismail and 9-year-old Rubina Ali—were plucked from the slums of Mumbai by director Danny Boyle. Journalists and neighbors surrounded them today, watching Ali dance and Ismail shout for joy. "I am not a hero," he said. "I am only a small star."