Today marks the release of the first-ever movie written by award-winning author Salman Rushdie. Midnight’s Children, adapted from his novel of the same name, was first released in 1981 and received the Booker Prize for Literature—the U.K. equivalent of the Pulitzer. The story revolves around two children (Saleem and Amina) who are swapped at birth within moments of India gaining independence from Great Britain in August of 1947. The film, directed by Oscar nominee Deepa Mehta, follow the pair as they grow up in a new country, unaware that they were switched. At the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, InStyle.com caught up with lead actor Satya Bhaba (Saleem), who discussed the challenges of making the movie as a British Indian man, for whom the story’s implications hit close to home. “In my family you don’t have a bar mitzvah—you read Midnight’s Children, and then you’re a man,” he told InStyle.com. “So I read this book when I was really young. It is really moving, just magical and beautiful. [And then one day] I’m sitting down with [Rushdie] in New York, talking about my favorite book ever, and about me potentially playing the lead. The whole thing has been surreal.” Bhaba sums up the message of the film in just a few words: “The heart of the movie is a coming-of-age story, and it’s about defining your own family,” he said. “The question is—are we who we are because we came from these people? Or are we who we are became we came to these people?” Midnight’s Children opens in select cities today—find out when it’s coming to a theater near you!

Plus, see more stars at the Toronto Film Festival!

STARS AT TIFF

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— Karen Levy