Act one, Act last?
He’s 19 years old and about to make his dream debut in Ang Lee’s ambitious 3D film Life of Pi. However, the half-Marathi half-Malayali Delhi boy who is also a student of philosophy at St Stephen’s is not sure whether he’d like to continue as an actor in the future.
Apparently, while working for nearly a year on the film, Suraj got a reality check. He adds, “Everything was new. Forget filmmaking, I’d never even faced a camera before this movie happened. I realised how a story is not just a director’s baby or an actor’s monopoly. It’s a collaborative process of about 2,000 people. No wonder I ended up working hard for the first time in my life!”
Suraj is now contemplating a future in this industry. “It’s fun getting under the skin of a character and portraying a complete stranger on screen. But honestly, I’d say I just want to be part of the story or be one of the crew who turns a dream of turn a film script into reality.”
Interestingly, two years ago, Suraj bagged the lead role among 3,000 other students. His brother was supposed to go for the auditions but he went in his place and got the part. “My life literally changed after that. I used to scrape about 50 per cent but after getting this role, I scored 94 per cent in HSC. I don’t know how that happened!” quips the actor who survived on tuna and lettuce to lose weight to play Pi.
On being asked how he manages to balance college and movie promotions, he points to his laptop. “Attendance is important but as of now, this film is the most significant thing in my life. So I complete my homework and other assignments while travelling,” he sums up.