EXCLUSIVE 'She's like my own mother': Sunny Pawar reveals close bond with Lion co-star Nicole Kidman... but insists he's 'much better' at playing cricket than the actress

He has shot to sudden fame - and won a legion of adoring fans - after starring as Nicole Kidman's son in the critically-acclaimed film Lion.

And Sunny Pawar has revealed that he also enjoyed a real-life bond with the Oscar-winning actress as she took him under her wing even when cameras stopped rolling.

'She gave me a lot of love on set, like she was my own mother,' the precocious eight-year-old told MailOnline exclusively. 'She’s very affectionate and very warm. Nicole always said that I’m a natural and I should always be a natural.'

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Motherly love: Sunny Pawar has revealed that his Lion co-star Nicole Kidman was like a mother to him during the time they shot the critically acclaimed movie

And while they share a passion for acting, Sunny and Nicole learned they were also both fans of a particular sport popular in their respective home countries of India and Australia.

'I played cricket to bond with Nicole Kidman,' Sunny, who began shooting the film when he was just six years old, revealed, before cheekily adding: 'And, of course, I’m much better than her!'

The Mumbai native - who thought he was only taking part in an acting workshop when he was being auditioned for his role alongside thousands of children - also gave the 49-year-old screen star 'some small lessons' in learning how to speak Hindi.

Unbreakable bond: In the drama, Sunny portrays the Oscar-winning actress's adopted son

Such a good sport! And while Nicole boasts numerous acting awards, Sunny has declared that he's the more skilled cricket player of the two 

The eldest of three children, Sunny made a room filled with dozens of Hollywood's most heavy hitters gush when he stepped out on stage at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

Facing the glamorous audience alongside another Lion co-star Dev Patel - who he says is 'like a brother to me now' - he received cheers and rapturous applause as he was lifted to the microphone to utter the words: 'This is our movie, Lion.'

But while Sunny acknowledges that it was 'an absolute honour' to grace the stage and rub shoulders with 'all the wonderful people of Hollywood', the rising star admitted to MailOnline that he didn't know who most of those stars were.

Dynamic duo: On Sunday, he made hearts melt during an appearance at the Golden Globe Awards another Lion co-star, Dev Patel

Cutest cub in town: The adorable eight-year-old won over the audience with a brief speech

'The thing is that I don’t watch American movies, so I don’t know many of the Hollywood stars,' he explained, while a translator for the youngster added that Kerry Washington, John Travolta and Cuba Gooding Jr. were among those who approached him on the red carpet and 'pulled his cheeks'.

Even the gravity of a recent introduction to former US President Bill Clinton was lost on the adorable actor, who learned exactly who the politician was afterwards.

'I had no clue who Bill Clinton was,' he told MailOnline. 'I was told much later who he was. But yes, it was great fun. It was a big honour to meet him as well.'

Sunny outlook: He revealed to that he got his funky Globes shoes from a Mumbai street stall 

With his first movie outing seeing him co-star with an Oscar winner and his upcoming project, Love Sonia, having him share screen time with Demi Moore, it would be natural to ask who else on Hollywood's A-list he dreams of working with.

'I haven’t seen any American movies except for my own film,' he said when asked. 'I really don’t know who’s who [in Hollywood].'

However, he does have a big ambition that he hopes his newfound fame can afford him: 'I watch a lot of WWE, so I do have American wrestling icons – The Undertaker, John Cena, Brock Lesner, Roman Reigns. I would love to see these guys fight!'

Loving it: Sunny, seen with his co-stars at the 6th AACTA International Awards earlier this month, has been enjoying his busy run during Hollywood's awards season

Close: Sunny also said that he's become close to Dev, who he has likened to a brother

His refreshingly unspoiled approach is perhaps why he opted to take a slice of home with him when he attended the Golden Globes, drawing increased attention with his colourful choice of shoes.

'The shoes are Mumbai street style,' said Sunny. 'They’re shoes bought off a street stall near my house and that’s what I love about them. So I had always planned to wear those.'

And as he adjusts to a life far more glamorous than most children his age would even imagine, Sunny still hasn't forgotten his previous ambitions.

Family first: Sunny has been protectively chaperoned through awards season by his father

'I would have loved to be a police officer,' he said. 'I always felt that my country needed me, so it would be nice to be a cop. But I want to purse acting as a career.'

Showing that his priorities are in order, he quickly insisted: 'Right now, I need to concentrate on my education as well. Mathematics is my favourite subject.'

Still, it won't hurt that he can keep in touch with his famous friends like Nicole and Dev -  with whom he enjoys a 'great bond' - in between getting his homework done.

'I have a brand new iPhone that I got as a gift and I’m going to be in touch with them soon,' he said, bursting with enthusiasm. 

Fan: While he's met countless stars, Sunny admitted that his dream is to attend a WWE fight


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