It’s a jungle out there, just not in theaters. There’s nothing new hitting the big screen this week, but Netflix did just drop its own star-studded take on “The Jungle Book,” called “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.” We talked to the cast in L.A. for tonight’s Showtime.
Rohan Chand (as Mowgli): “I am not a man, but neither am I a wolf.”
He’s Mowgli, legend of the jungle, and he’s the focus of this grittier, more violent retelling of “The Jungle Book,” about a human boy raised by animals.
Christian Bale (as Bagheera): “Mowgli, you are one of them.”
One of the animals helping raise him is the panther Bagheera, portrayed by Christian Bale through motion-capture.
The Oscar winner has transformed himself for different roles before, but never like this!
Christian Bale: “I was mesmerized, just going, ‘How did they do that? How do they take these emotions and manage to make that work as a panther?’ It’s beyond me.”
It helps when the director is Andy Serkis, the king of motion-capture performances.
He’s been Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings,” Caesar in “Planet of the Apes” and portrays wise old bear Baloo in this movie.
Andy Serkis: “I was very certain about the design of the animals, actually. We very, very carefully designed the facial design of the animals to match the actors’ physiognomy.”
Mowgli trying to balance between two worlds had us wondering if Christian could personally relate from when he was a young actor balancing fame with a normal childhood.
Christian Bale: “I don’t feel like I was a part of Hollywood. I was in England, we were getting moved from house to house and getting kicked out of places. It was sort of a strange imbalance of what people thought my life must be like and actually what it was like.”
And while Rohan Chand, who plays Mowgli, doesn’t exactly share a similar upbringing with his character…
Rohan Chand: “He grew up in the jungle. I grew up in the concrete jungles of New York!”
He does feel strongly about Mowgli’s struggles with fitting in.
Rohan Chand: “Kids my age are struggling with that, too, on social media, looking a certain way, being a specific person who they’re really not. I think this film really teaches them that they can be true to themselves.”
“Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” is streaming on Netflix Friday.
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