Rohan Chand is a young actor who has already built up quite a résumé. He has appeared in films like Jack and Jill, Lone Survivor, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, as well as guest starring in an episode of Showtime’s Homeland. Chand’s most recent performance is the title role in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, a fantasy adventure based on the stories by Rudyard Kipling.
Screen Rant: Congratulations on a wonderful performance.
Rohan Chand: Oh, thank you.
Screen Rant: How has this journey been like for you?
Rohan Chand: Yeah, it's been really great. I mean, obviously, it was a long process. I got involved in this back in 2014, when I was just 10-years-old. And I am 14 now, but it really was a great process. Being able to work with Christian [Bale], and work with Andy [Serkis], and Benedict [Cumberbatch], and Cate [Blanchett]. It's really great.
Screen Rant: Did you do any green screen stuff in the past before?
Rohan Chand: Oh yeah. So, I had done, obviously, a bit of a green screen and blue screen. Obviously, every big movie now has it. But for this, we didn't have much blue screen. It was mostly performance capture and real sets and real plants and everything.
Screen Rant: Are you back in school now or…?
Rohan Chand: Yes. I'm back in school, yeah. I go to high school now.
Screen Rant: Do you use this at all to your advantage? Like with the kids like, “Hey guys, I’m in this movie.”
Rohan Chand: I don't talk about it too much at school. But actually, I think that traveling can really help, learning about different cultures. And really getting a sense about how these cultures obviously different from me and how I live in New York. And really accepting those differences is really important. And I can really use that in my school life actually.
Screen Rant: What was the hardest part about production on this? You’re wearing a loin cloth for days.
Rohan Chand: Yeah. The physical part was challenging. Running on all fours and everything. But I actually started, I got involved in this when I was 10, but I started principal photography and I was 11-years-old. And that was challenging. Because, based on the storyline, I played Mowgli like a 14 or 15-year-old near the third act. So, that was challenging, being obviously an 11-year-old playing a 14 or 15-year-old. You don't have those past experiences to draw on, in order to rely on it, and bring that to Mowgli. So, I think Andy actually was able to really help me and draw me-- Just really pushed me through that.
Screen Rant: How is it working with Andy?
Rohan Chand: Oh, it’s really great. He is very much an actor's director. It's really great, because he taught me so many things. I remember one of the things he told me actually was, “Rohan, I'll be there to guide you. But ultimately the authorship of the role is with the actor.” And that's amazing, because what he was saying was, “Rohan, I'll be there to push you down the right path. But ultimately, the characters yours to discover.” And that's amazing, because he gives you that sense of freedom, while being able to guide you through the character. And he's such a collaborator as well. He really brings out the best in everyone.
Screen Rant: So, did you go back and watch other Mowgli performances?
Rohan Chand: Oh, well, I think actually, I grew up reading Kipling short stories. And I think my main, the main, source material for this was Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. And that's what we're really going for in this. It is very close in tone to the Jungle Book. To Rudyard Kipling’s stories. So, I think that's really great to be able to bring that to the big screen.
Screen Rant: So, what do you want people to take away? From your perspective, what would you like people to take away from this hero's journey?
Rohan Chand: Well, yeah. So, I mean, obviously Mowgli's perseverance is really great. Because, obviously he gets so many obstacles thrown at him over and over and over again. He was brought up by wolves. His parents were killed in the jungle by Shere Khan the tiger. And yeah, just every obstacle that's done to him, he just pushes past that. And I think that's really amazing too. I think that's what I really try to incorporate that into my own life. With school work, and sports, and everything. If you're down by a goal, you've got to push through, then keep scoring, I guess.
Screen Rant: So, do you jump onto another project? Or do you go back to being a teenager for a while?
Rohan Chand: Well, right now I'm focusing on school a bit more. But I have a couple of things I can't really talk about. I mean, I'd love to talk about it more when I'm allowed to. But, you know.
- Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) release date: Dec 07, 2018