Suraj Sharma was born on March 21, 1993 in New Delhi (India) .$ He didn’t do very well in school and had no idea what he wanted to become. Thought was about the profession of economist, like mom, but later rejoiced that he didn’t go down that path because office work isn’t for him. Helped Dad, a software engineer, to collect and repair computers, but also in this field did not become an expert. But quite by accident (though not coincidence, if you think about it) he became a very sought-after actor after the release of the film “Life of Pi” in 2012. And later appeared:
· “Hand in a Million” (2014);
· “Umrika” (2015);
· “Burn Your Cards” (2016);
· “Happy New Death Day” (2019);
· “Killer” (2019)
and other feature-length and telefilms, an important place among which is the series “Homeland” (going from 2011 to the present). And if Life of Pi is Suraj’s first film, Homeland is his first TV series. With no professional acting education, Suraj takes on any roles, accumulating experience, counting filming as acting school.
Suraj’s most recent work is the comedy series “Little America”, which premiered on January 17, 2020.
Fateful samples. Starting career
For company with brother who was already an actor, Suraj Sharma went to casting the film “Life of Pi”. At that point, Suraj had all ideas about the acting profession only according to his brother’s stories. Although a couple of times he played in school plays, for example, a tree, but hardly such experience could be seriously useful on casting. And the more surprising is the fact that out of several thousand applicants for the main role, the choice fell on him. Director Eng Lee was attracted to the purity and openness in his appearance. You could say that Sharma had a special charm! Eng Lee saw in it Pi, the hero of Martel’s novel, based on which the film was shot, his charm, modesty, physique. And Suraj’s inexperience became his trump card.
Suraj said that he loved Eng Lee’s films very much, but when he saw the director on the samples, he couldn’t even read the text from excitement! Lee spoke to him, calmed him down, and after 5 minutes Suraj was able to co-rule with himself and read the text properly. And after was invited already to the next round of samples. There were 7 in total! And Suraj was approved for the role. At the same time, the brother remained not offended.
The film literally flipped Suraj’s entire life. With “Life of Pi”, his career begins. He already understands what he wants to do, what he’s interested: now it’s creativity and film.
The film “Life of Pi” is about a young boy, the son of a zoo owner, who survived a shipwreck. The protagonist finds himself on a boat in the middle of the ocean in the company of tiger and other animals The film has a lot of filming in the water and underwater and Suraj couldn’t swim. In 10 days, he learned to swim in the pool. However, his instructors had little of this, and on one of their rest days they offered Suraj a kayak swim. That agreed, but far from shore the cunning instructors overturned the boat! Suraj was very frightened, but when on the advice of his teachers was able to relax, he calmed down and swam. So he finally learned to swim, and then he loved the occupation.
Swam for 4 hours a day for 3 months and dropped weight heavily. Yoga and meditation classes helped hold your breath for a long time. That and the complete silence for a month at the director’s demand allowed him to feel what his hero was supposed to feel: fatigue, hunger, loneliness, fear.
The filming had no ocean or tiger in the boat. And there was only a blue screen that Suraj looked at, and imagined it all.
In life Suraj’s family is not too religious, but in the novel Pi is a polytheist, and therefore Suraj had to learn several religions, listen to choral and ritual music, get into meaning. He reread the novel several times, comprehending his philosophy.
All in all, it was a serious job, the movie was made for 4 years!
If Suraj’s hero turns from a boy to a man fighting the elements, then during filming and Suraj himself does the same. From a careless, nothing busy young boy he turns into a serious, hard-working, self-confident and self-satisfied man.
Despite the success of the film, Sharma returns to St. Stephen’s College at Delhi University to continue her studies. Fame doesn’t spoil it. He never considered himself a sociable person, and after the release of the film with an increase in interest in himself at all questioned whether he needed all this “tinsel”. Suraj does not tolerate the attention well, feels like a caged bird. But it becomes clear why exactly he was chosen for the role of Pi Eng Lee, extraordinarily modest and unsavoury.
Suraj has Instagram, Twitter, Facebook accounts, but only to occasionally flip a couple of words with friends. The rest of the time he’s inactive in them.
Despite the improved material situation, Suraj is discarded with money, and, on the contrary, saves. Pays for study at New York University, where she studies on a course of mass communications on a journalist, combines it with shooting in movies. And also thinks to open a football school, because since childhood he played football and cheered for Manchester United.
Such a young, humble and already well-off free man, of course, arouses interest among the girls, but as Suraj admits in the interview, he doesn’t have time to do it: everything takes work and getting an education.
· Dad — Gokul Churai;
· Mama — Shailaja Sharma;
· Younger brother — Sriharsh Sharma;
· Younger sister — Dhruvatara Sharma.
Suraj Sharma named Las Vegas Film Critics Community Best Young Actor of 2012, he winner of the Saturn Award for Best Play by a Young Actor and the MTV Award for Best Fright in 2013. And the film “Life of Pi”, which is considered one of the best of his career, was nominated 11 times at the Academy Awards and managed to win in 4 categories.