Entertainment Movies Surreal journey from India to Hobart to Hollywood

Surreal journey from India to Hobart to Hollywood

Saroo Brierley Lion Golden Globes
Saroo Brierley has good reason to flick on the broadcast of the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.
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Tasmanian Saroo Brierley has not decided whether he will watch this year’s Golden Globes despite a film about his true-life story being nominated for four awards.

Lion is based on his incredible journey to find his birth mother and family in India.

At just five years of age, Mr Brierley found himself lost and alone on the streets of India.

Eventually he was adopted by Hobart couple John and Sue Brierley and grew up in Tasmania.

Twenty-five years later, using only his childhood memories and Google Earth, he managed to track down his home town and birth mother.

Mr Brierley said it had been a surreal experience watching his life played out on the big screen.

“Who on heaven and Earth would’ve thought a story of mine would’ve ever become a motion picture,” he said.

The film stars Dev Patel as Saroo, and his adoptive parents Sue and John Brierley are played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.

“I don’t know much about actors and actresses so to be honest I was pretty happy that Dev Patel was chosen,” Mr Brierley said.

“He’s done an amazing job and I’ve met him and he’s a great guy full of effervescence and vitality.”

Saroo Brierley Golden Globes Lion
Sara Brierley with the actors who portray him in the film, Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar.

Mr Brierley said many tears were shed when he first watched Lion with his parents.

“We all just huddled together and we just had tears coming down and Dad goes ‘I didn’t realise that you went through so many trials and tribulations Saroo’,” he said.

Saroo Brierley Golden Globes
A young Saroo with John an Sue Brierley in the mid-1980s.

Mr Brierley’s against-the-odds story has captivated the hearts of millions across the world.

“We had a choice whether not to tell it or tell it and I just thought, you know, there are so many people that may be out there in the same situation that I have been in, looking for their family and looking for loved ones,” he said.

With a packed schedule of speaking commitments and promotional tours, down-time in Hobart is a treat.

“I get homesick but Tasmania, Hobart, is where my family are, it’s where my heart is and why would I not want to come back here,” Mr Brierley said.

Adding to his to-do list, a prequel novel telling the stories of his adoptive and biological mothers is in the works and maybe another movie.

“I’ve got a lot on my plate,” he said.

Sara brierley's birth mother Fatima Munshi
Sara Brierley’s birth mother Fatima Munshi at the fountain in Khandwa, India, where her son used to play as a boy.

The Golden Globes will be held on Monday, with Lion up for best motion picture (drama), best original score, best supporting actor (Dev Patel) and best supporting actress (Nicole Kidman).

And on the question of whether Mr Brierley will be watching?

“I’m sort of in a state of indifference whether to or not but I think it would be cruel if I didn’t,” he said.

The film will be released in Australia on January 19. Watch the official trailer below.

The 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony will be held in Beverly Hills, California from midday AEDT on Monday January 9 (Sunday night US time).


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