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Suraj Sharma (Malayalam: സൂരജ് ശര്‍മ; born 1993) is an Indian actor from New Delhi, who made his debut with the title role in the 2012 film Life of Pi. Directed by Ang Lee, Life of Pi was adapted from the novel of the same name. Sharma was born in New Delhi, India, into a Malayali family which originally hails from Thalassery, Kerala. His father is a software engineer from Thalassery and his mother is an economist from Palakkad. He was one of the 3,000 actors to audition for the role of Piscine Molitor Patel. He has completed schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya where he is described as a popular kid who loved to play pranks. He is a passionate Manchester United fan. He had no former acting experience whatsoever, and auditioned only because he was there with his younger brother, who had asked him to come along, in return for a free meal. He was quoted as saying "Everyday I'm doing something I never did before," pertaining to his experience in the movie. Sharma went through several rounds of auditions before winning the part. Director Ang Lee has stated that he selected Sharma primarily based on his expressive eyes and innocent appearance. According to him, Suraj had not only the emotion, but also the "look" of Pi. His "medium complexion" and "average build" (between 5'6" and 6ft) was deemed perfect for the role. Since filming Life of Pi, Sharma has returned to studying philosophy at St. Stephen's college Delhi University, and intends to continue working in film making in some capacity. The movie has received critical acclaim and positive reviews for Sharma's performance.
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