Slumdog stars' cash demands disappoint Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire, has baulked at fresh demands from the families of two child stars of the film—including a new car and more money for flats - and threatened to give the money instead to charitable causes.

Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali, who played younger versions of the main characters in the rags-to-riches blockbuster, have asked for more cash, saying that money allocated so far is not enough to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed.

Boyle and producer Christian Colson had set up the Jai Ho Trust to manage the interests of the children who will be able to access the funds after they graduate. The pair also allocated the children 2,5-million rupees (£31 000) for new apartments, after their makeshift homes were torn down as part of Mumbai’s slum clearance drive.

Boyle left India last week after a round of negotiations that failed to resolve the deadlock. He had made it clear that he considered their education to be a priority.

But the families said that no suitable flats could be found. They are demanding £50 000 and new cars.

According to the Hindustan Times, a spokesperson for the family asked: “Where is the swimming pool and the bungalow?”

The trust said the demands were “disappointing”. Noshir Dadrawala, spokesperson for the trust, said: “We believe that the children are being badly advised. There are properties available located in nearby suburbs. We have made many attempts to settle this but now Danny has said that if they don’t agree by January, then the money will be given to other charities”.

There have also been allegations that the children, who grew up in the slums where the film was set, were skipping lessons. The families of the children said they had missed school after a death in the family.—



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