The Jungle Book’s Neel Sethi

We grew up on Disney. The Jungle Book was one of our favorite flicks (and books) when we were kids, and we’ve gotta say, our inner-child is pretty psyched about the new remake, which hits theaters today. Newcomer Neel Sethi is the adorable Indian-American actor playing Mowgli. The twelve-year-old stars alongside a cadre of incredible actors, like Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Scarlett Johansson — not bad for a kid’s first film. We caught up with the young actor and New York City native over spaghetti and meatballs

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

For breakfast, I would eat buttery Indian bread my mom makes, a.k.a naan. For lunch I would have a beautiful jalapeño bacon cheddar thick burger – just thinking about it makes me want it. Lastly for dinner, I would have lobster ravioli – my favorite dish. And chocolate milk with everything!

What was your favorite food growing up?

Every day after school, or at least once a day, I would have my favorite food growing up, Indian bread called Paratha, with shredded cauliflower stuffed inside of it, with Greek yogurt and a glass of apple juice.

Your least favorite food growing up? 

I really don’t have a least favorite food because my mother makes the best food ever!

Did you read The Jungle Book as a kid? What do you love about it?

I did not read The Jungle Book as a kid. However, I love that Mowgli, the main character, goes on so many adventures.

What was your favorite part to shoot in the movie?

My favorite part of filming the movie was probably doing all of the action stunts and the river scenes!

Who was the funniest cast member in the movie with you? 

Well, all of the cast was really funny, but if I have to pick it would probably be Bill Murray, because he is a comedian. When I met him, I couldn’t stop laughing.

What’s something we probably don’t know about Mowgli?

When he puts his mind to something, he goes out of his way to get what he wants.

You grew up in New York City, are there any restaurants you’ve gone to with your family that you really love?

Every place in the city is a great place to eat, but I really like enjoying food with my family at Tony’s di Napoli. It’s very close to one of my parent’s dental practices and if we ever need a quick and reliable bite, all of our heads think Tony’s!

What’s your favorite breakfast? 

My favorite breakfast is Indian bread with shredded radishes and spices stuffed in it, which makes it taste extremely good.

Do you have any favorite apps? What are they?

I have hundreds of apps, but my favorites are probably Instagram, NBA Live Mobile and Madden Mobile. In that order!

What’s your favorite way to have potatoes? 

Everybody likes potatoes. I like them mashed with lots of whipped butter and some salt-and-pepper…mmm. And of course fries; everyone loves French fries!

Read this interview with Elena Kampouris, the young star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. We also had breakfast with Toast Meets World

*Neel Sethi, photographed at Tony’s di Napoli in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.