Just two films old in Hollywood, Suraj Sharma is wasting no time. From being a philosophy student in Delhi, he’s moved on to film school in the US after his debut in Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi (2012). Now, he has an agent in Los Angeles (LA), an interest in everything film and a political correctness beyond his years.
Speaking to us on the phone from LA, he opens up about life post his debut, his just-released second film.
We heard your exams are on right now. What are you studying?
Yes, I am studying film (film-making), and I have exams right now, so I’m going back and forth trying to do everything (study and promote his film).
Do you see yourself directing films?
Right now, I want to do everything — write, direct, cinematography. I know that’s a bit far-fetched, so I’m trying to create a skill set and an understanding of film, phir aage dekhoonga kya hoga (then I’ll see what happens next).
Has this ‘Hollywood stardom’ sunk in yet?
(Laughs) I don’t believe I am one (a Hollywood star). So I think of it like this — I am in this situation and I need to make the best of it and give it my best, because it’s the first thing that I feel I can really do.
Madhur (Mittal; co-star) became like my brother… Pitobash too… I feel I was very lucky to get people like them and even Jon (Hamm). They really helped me with reactions… because that’s something I hadn’t done. I hadn’t reacted to human beings before (laughs).
You had a director like Ang leading you in your debut. Were there any apprehensions about your second film (Million Dollar Arm)?
Many things came by (after Life Of Pi), but what’s more important for me is the character. If that is complex enough, then you’re so involved that you’re not acting anymore, you’re just being them and understanding them. Plus, (I did the film) because this story needed to be told. In India, not many people know about Dinesh and Rinku (Indian baseball pitchers). I didn’t.