Until last year Tariq Mir led a quiet life managing his small grocery store in Bumthan village in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Then Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali tweeted a selfie with him at a film festival in the area. It immediately went viral. People were confused about Peter Dinklage’s appearance at the event.
But it wasn’t Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf with wit and a caustic sense of humor in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” It was Mir. And without a doubt life hasn’t been the same for him. “They call me Tyron now,” he tells public radio’s The Media Project. “People love to take selfies with me now.”
But Mir, 31, is not just a local hero. His fame has reached Bollywood as well. He recently worked with Salman Khan in “Bharat,” with promises of more roles in the future.
Even the Jammu and Kashmir state government is cashing in on Mir. They funded a video advertisement of him in Kashmir dressed up as Tyron, hoping to boost him and the state to international acclaim.
While his ultimate dream would be to travel to the U.S. and visit his doppelganger, Mir says right now his mission is to change the stigma around dwarfism in Indian theater and cinema.