"Life of Pi" teen star lives out his own fairy tale
By Shilpa Jamkhandikar
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Suraj Sharma went from being a regular teenager growing up in New Delhi to starring in Ang Lee's big-screen adaptation of the bestselling novel "Life of Pi".
The 17-year-old Sharma was picked from more than 3,000 hopefuls to play Pi, an Indian boy who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal Tiger.
Now 19, Sharma spoke to Reuters about the film, which opens in cinemas next month, acting with a computer-generated tiger and why "Life of Pi" may well be his first and last role.
Q: How did this film come about?
A: "I have been born and brought up in Delhi and my brother has acted in a couple of films. The auditions happened and the casting director was my brother's friend and he's been close to my family for a while. I went for the auditions with my brother for moral support ... I didn't really want to act, but I don't know, it happened. They kept calling me back. And then they called and said you have to come to Mumbai to meet 'Dao Yan'. I call Mr Lee Dao Yan."
Q: Yes, I noticed that. What does it mean?
A: "It means Mr Director in Chinese. I don't like calling him Ang, there is something not respectful about that ... Two weeks later, they said 'hey, Suraj you have to come to Taiwan'. Funnily enough even then I didn't believe I had got the role. It's very difficult to believe. You don't think things like that can happen to you."
Q: What was shooting in Taiwan like? Continued...