Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma on Acting with a Fake Tiger and Beating Out 3,000 Actors for His Part: “It’s very difficult to believe”

Suraj-Sharma-Life-of-PiSome considered it a risky move for director Ang Lee to cast an unknown in his adaptation of the celebrated novel, Life of Pi but Suraj Sharma is already winning rave reviews as an Indian boy who is stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger for more than 200 days.

Sharma was picked for the role of Pi after more than 3,000 actors auditioned.  “I have been born and brought up in Delhi and my brother has acted in a couple of films,” he said.  “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.”

“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.”

“I had never acted before, but I knew I would like it,” the 19-year-old said in an interview with Reuters.  “My brother and I would act to ourselves.  We would walk down streets being different people and that is the only acting I have ever done.  I got exposed to real movie-making and how things are done.  It’s a lot of people who come together, a lot of dreams that come together.  For me, I just want to be on set.  I don’t care what I would be.  If it’s acting, directing, if it is props I don’t care…Things might get better or worse, but this will always be there.  A part of me will always be stuck in Taiwan [where the film was shot], on that boat.”

Sharma had to film many scenes with a ‘fake’ tiger that would later be inserted with CGI.  “For the most part, we were shooting in a big blue tank with big blue walls around it and the blue sky above you,” he said.  “Everything was blue except for me and the raft.  We had four tigers being trained as reference.  I would watch them everyday—how they would react to the water, the atmosphere, how they moved.  I watched videos of tigers, I talked to the tiger trainer, etc. and so you assemble this huge picture in your head.  Initially it was a very conscious attempt to imagine the tiger on the boat.  But later, it became real to me.  By the end of it I didn’t need to imagine him.  For me it was real.”

Life of Pi hits theaters November 21.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-bill-paxton-talks-edge.jpg
WonderCon: Bill Paxton Talks ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, Working with Tom Cruise and More! (video)
Bill Paxton came to WonderCon to talk-up his new film, Edge of Tomorrow. They showed some clips from the Doug Liman directed film and the more I see, the more I think I”m going to like it. The film, which stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Paxton, is about a soldier fighting in a war [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/tatiana-maslany-jordan-gavaris-t.jpg
Tatiana Maslany & Jordan Gavaris Talk ‘Orphan Black’ with the SAG Foundation
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhHMcuQhjGE] BBC America’s Orphan Black returned for its second season this weekend and from what I’ve heard, the show comes back in fine form. The series is about Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), who’s in a desperate race to find her missing daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler). She becomes involved in a wild pursuit that brings her [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/director-david-gordon-greene-nar.jpg
Director David Gordon Green Narrates a Scene From ‘Joe’
Director David Gordon Green narrates a sequence from his new film, Joe, featuring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. In the video, he mentions his reasons why he likes to hire non-traditional actors. He likes people who have real skill-sets and not actors who have the skills on their resume. He also talked about this in [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/david-gordon-green-joe.jpg
Director David Gordon Green: “I find actors in unusual places”
I keep missing screenings of director David Gordon Greene‘s new film, Joe. I hear it’s really good so I’m looking forward to catching it at some point. Joe stars Nicholas Cage as ex-con Joe Ransom, who isn’t the greatest of role models until he meets a 15-year-old boy (Mud‘s Tye Sheridan). In this featurette, Green [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/judy-greer-i-dont-know-why-you-know-me-from.jpg
Please Don’t Say These Things To Judy Greer (video)
Judy Greer - who we love here at Daily Actor – has a new book called, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From (Confessions of a Co-Star), a series of essays about her life as an actress, friend and someone who everyone thinks they might know. Here’s a blurb about the book: “Want to [...]