Slumdog stars' Mumbai return

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 27 February 2009
'Slumdog' director Danny Boyle

'Slumdog' director Danny Boyle

'Slumdog Millionaire' child stars Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali have returned to a heroes welcome in Mumbai following the film's Oscars triumph

'Slumdog Millionaire' stars Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali received a heroes welcome when they returned home.

The child stars, who live in the slums of western Mumbai, were still buzzing from their Oscars experience as cheering masses greeted them as they touched down in India.

Rubina - who plays the youngest depiction of Latika, portrayed as an adult by Freida Pinto, in the film - said: "It was the best night of my life. I loved the dressing up and walking down the red carpet. My dress was so pretty."

Her 10-year-old co-star Azharuddin, who plays the youngest Salim, added: "I couldn't believe we won eight awards. My throat was sore from all the shouting and screaming I did."

Rubina, nine - who was clutching a soft rabbit toy - walked out arm-in-arm with Azharuddin, waving at the hundreds of fans before being whisked away in a black Mercedes.

The child stars, who will soon start school for the first time in their lives, are also sharing a lump sum of £50,000 to pay for new homes.

A £35,000 trust fund has also been set up which they will split when they turn 18.

The film's producers, who faced accusations of exploiting the child actors when it was revealed they still live in poverty-stricken conditions despite 'Slumdog Millionaire's' global success, insist Rubina and Azharuddin were paid above local wages.

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