RAHUL Pendkalkar waves cheerily as he walks into Candies restaurant in Bandra for his first media interview.
Like any normal polite seven-year-old, he shakes hands nicely and sits down. He is accompanied by his mother and sister, who sit alongside him. He is in a short-sleeved maroon shirt and beige shorts, with brown lace-ups, neatly knotted.
The tidy black hair and dark brown eyes are just as you'd expect after seeing him on screen; a kid next door. From anywhere, almost.
But the thing that sets Rahul apart is his ease in talking about grown-up stuff with journalists.
The answers are eloquent and well considered but not too smart or precocious.
For example, when we ask about his interaction with the actress Jiah Khan, he says: "Jiah Khan was so good. She let me sit on her lap and loved me lots."
Coming from a lower middle-class family, Rahul had been interested in acting since seeing his father, Praveen, taking an interest in the same profession. But being an advocate, Praveen could not continue his passion.
Then came Ghajini, Rahul's first film alongside Aamir Khan, Jiah Khan and Asin, in which he appears in the final, cake-cutting scene.
Rahul's lines were supposed to be recited by another child, but when Aamir Khan saw him practising the lines, which the other child could not grasp so well, the actor recommended Rahul to AR Murgadoss.
After wrapping up his first scene in a Hindi film, Aamir walked up to Rahul and said: "Tu bahut upar jaayega (You will climb the ladder of success)."
Two big films followed Ghajini. One was Wake Up Sid, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkana Sen Sharma, in which Rahul plays Sanju, the neighbour of a professional photographer, played by Ranbir, who makes a portfolio of pictures of him.
According to the boy, he got along very well with Ranbir and recalls the first time he met the actor.
"I was taking a nap when Ranbir came up to me and said 'Hi'. I don't know how he came to know my name, but I was very impressed."
What impressed the press was the fact that Rahul didn't give away much of the film - a true professional.
Rahul's third film was the Aamir Khan production Delhi Belly, which included Imran Khan and Shehnaz Treasuriwala in the cast.
By coincidence, Rahul's first advertisement, for Ambuja Cement, was directed by Abhinay Deo, which is how he came to be recommended for Delhi Belly.
When asked why his photo album does not contain a picture taken with Imran, Rahul gets a bit upset: "I don't want to talk about Imran because I don't like him as he didn't click a picture with me."
But his mother reveals: "Rahul is just kidding. He loves posing with the actors for a candid picture but we forgot to get him snapped with Imran."
Rahul reveals that Imran plays a mechanic in Delhi Belly.
Rahul bagged his fourth film in the form of India 24/7, originally known as Rann. In this, he shares the screen with his favourite actor, and Rahul was eager to meet the Big B, his icon.
He says: "I want to become like Amitabh Bachchan when I grow up. I liked him in Bunty Aur Babli and Bhoothnath."
When Big B arrived on set, Rahul quickly took his blessings by touching his feet. "Jeete Raho beta (God bless you son)," said Amitabh before starting to play games with him.
"My dream was to work with Amitabh Bachchan and I have achieved that milestone," Rahul says. "Now I want to work with the rest, starting from Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Govinda, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol."
More surprisingly, he adds: "I want to work with Dharmendra too."
Apparently, the seven-year-old loved Apne, in which all three of the Deols appeared.
Rahul's next film, as yet untitled, is with Akshay Kumar and is to be shot entirely in London.
Returning to his most recent flick, the young actor recalled his best moment from the set of Rann: "When Ram Gopal Varma made a mistake in the script, Amitabh Bachchan shouted at him and improvised the scene himself. Nobody can be like him. He is the best we have.
"Thank you, Ram Gopal Varma, for seeing my Hindustan Times and the Fiat advert."