Lion's Saroo Brierley and mom Sue are "over the moon" that their life story is now an Oscar-nominated film

From the streets of India to the Oscars Red Carpet.

Lion‘s Saroo Brierley, whose real-life story became the focus of the Oscar-nominated film, is “over the moon” to be recognized.

“We’re collectively amazed,” he says during the E! red carpet show. “We never thought something like this would ever come around, so we’re just over the moon.”

“We feel like we have a chance because our film has been received everywhere in such a wonderful way,” his mother, Sue, adds.

Saaroo Brierley
Credit: Joel Barhamand

Lion is inspired by Saroo’s memoir, which documents the years after he was separated from his birth parents in India and then adopted by Sue and her husband John, an Australian couple. As an adult, he scoured Google Maps to find his small hometown, and was eventually reunited with his birth family.

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Saroo says he never expected to be at the Academy Awards.

“The trajectory of this story is just amazing, from being in my memories to be a book and then a documentary and then a movie,” he says.

And Sue says that the movie led her to a new friend in Nicole Kidman, who plays her onscreen.

“She’s been so fantastic and I’ve really become so close with her,” Sue says. “I call her my soul sister, we just connected instantly.”

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The same goes for Saroo and his big screen doppelgänger, Dev Patel.

“He’s an amazing guy, on stage and off stage as well,” Saroo says of Patel, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. “Kudos to him.”