The Life Of Pi actor Suraj Sharma opens up on his journey and his new film The Illegal

The Life Of Pi actor Suraj Sharma opens up on his journey and his new film The Illegal

Suraj, it’s been 12 years since your phenomenal debut in The Life Of Pi. How has the Life of Suraj been during these years?
Life of Suraj has been like most lives. Full of ups and downs. I have been blessed however to get work in this film industry and meet the people I’ve had a chance to meet. I have lived in New York for the past 7 years and I love it here. I obviously miss home and India though. I’m hoping to learn and grow more as an actor and as a person and see what life has in store for me.

In The Illegal I can see you have evolved into quite an Ang Lee Young Man… There is anger, rage, bitterness and finally acceptance in your performance. Where did all of this come from?
I feel like everybody has emotions of struggle and frustrations in their life that they can tap into if they wish. I did the same. Also learning of these stories of immigrants in America and making friends with some of them, made me learn and realize things I didn’t before.

Like what?
A struggle and an emotional limbo that was and is still very hard for me to grasp. I tried to bring that into the performance and it had a strong effect on my character Hassan’s psyche. The loss he feels, the disillusionment, the distance, his endless desperation to do what he loves. Learning these things about him and taking to my director Danish Renzu about these helped us both in trying to bring Hassan to life.

A lot has changed for Asian actors in America and the West since Life Of Pi. Do you feel that change? Have you benefited from the ‘colour blindness’ that has lately crept into the casting of brown and black actors?
I feel like when I got here however many years ago things were way worse. Things have gotten better. There are better roles out here for people of colour .But more importantly our stories are being told. There are more and more people of colour as producers, directors, investors, and very importantly writers. Their stories and perspective shape the roles the actors get to play. This space is becoming more and more honest and wholesome which is a great and healthy sign for the industry and the people.

The Illegal casts as you Hassan, an immigrant from Daryaganj chasing the American Dream. How much did you identify with the role? How much research did you have to undertake before plunging into this complex part?
I identified with Hassan quite a bit. Like Hassan I came from Delhi to the states to study film. Had dreams and an almost whimsical belief in how it would go. The process has been far harder than I or Hassan assumed and life has brought with it challenges to grow from.

News Source: Bollywood Hungama

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