In a moment of movie casting magic, a young Scottish boy has been plucked from total obscurity to appear in a new Indian feature film for Netflix. The comedy-drama, Mimi, follows a woman who agrees to be a surrogate mother for an American couple in order to fund her Bollywood career. Jacob Smith, was spotted on a family trip in Goa when he was cast in the major role at just three years old.
Smith, who is now five years old, had to learn Hindi for the part, with his parents reporting that they were “proud” of his role in the “beautiful, touching” film. Produced by Maddock Films, Mimi is due to be released later this week, with critics worldwide already singing the movie’s praises.
Parents Kris and Julie Smith had taken children Erihn and Jacob upon a “big crazy dream” of travelling around the globe, during which they visited India, Jordan, Albania, Serbia and Hungary. It was during their time in India that Jacob found his way into the role, scouted by a casting agency before they relocated to Mumbai in 2020 to take part in acting coaching.
Father, Mr Smith reported to BBC Scotland, “They had been looking all over India for six months, so we genuinely didn’t think they would pick our wee Jacob. They chose him because the director was able to get him to perform on set, which is seriously impressive because he has the attention span of a gnat at times!”.
Continuing, Smith voices his initial fears of the production, stating, “We felt a bit of trepidation whether to put our son into that spotlight. It concerned us to an extent, but once we started speaking to the production company, they managed to ease our concerns”.
Speaking to Mrs Smith, she commented that, “We’re beyond proud. Everyone is buzzing. My mum has watched it a couple of times and cried. There’s been lovely feedback. It’s like, wow, that’s our boy. We’re so happy”.