I first heard Jon Favreau speak about The Jungle Book at the D23 Expo and I knew then that it would be a movie I’d have to see but never had I imagined that I would be walking The Jungle Book Red Carpet Premiere Event or seated near him learning more about the film as we interview him and Neel Sethl. But I did exactly that one week ago today!

Leanette Fernandez with Jon Favreau & Neel Sethi during the "The Jungle Book" press junket at the Beverly Hilton on April 4, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

Here are 7 things I learned about The Jungle Book from my interview with Jon Favreau and Neel Sethl

  • Jon Favreau was originally working on a Disney project called “Magic Kingdom” and had come up with some photo real version ideas for the film that he instead used for The Jungle Book.
  • They worked on The Jungle Book as a project for 3 years
  • Neel Sethl saw a flyer for the role and decided to audition towards the end of his fifth grade school year. He was in a dance class an his teacher said he would be good for this role….he had never thought of acting before.
  • Because Neel was the only human in the film, they used puppets as the animals. Instead of thinking of them as puppets, he would tell himself that he was talking to the character itself…John actually got into the puppet sometimes.
  • Jon Favreau was so happy about there being Jungle Book Merchandise that he pre-ordered a ton of items. So much so, that boxes filled his dining room and his driveway.
  • Neel’s least favorite scene to film was the one where he is in mud because it was really itchy and they had to keep spraying it with water as it dried up.
  • Jon kept a cowbell from King Louis’ Temple as a memento.

Not only did I get a Jungle Book interview with Jon Favreau, I also saw him at the after party and snapped this selfie with him

Leanette Fernandez with Jon Favreau R

Don’t forget that The Jungle Books opens in theaters 4/15/16.

*Thank you for the group photo Photo by Becky Fry/My Sparkling Life