Young actor Suraj Sharma, who sailed with a tiger in ‘Life of Pi’, has now grown up. Suraj is playing a substantial role in the forthcoming Hollywood movie ‘Million Dollar Arm’, in which he essays the role of Rinku Singh, a village lad whose fate changes when he gets picked up to play baseball, a sport that’s still unpopular in India.
Suraj says he hasn’t watched the movie yet but is thrilled when people walk up to him and tell him how powerful and yet so relatable his character is in the movie. The character, says Suraj, really tested the actor in him.
“It’s immense faith in the crew and it was a test of how much I could grasp under critical circumstances. I didn’t feel like I was acting. Instead I felt like I was only reacting to what was happening around me,” Suraj tells Metrolife ahead of the release of the film on May 9.
Suraj says that he didn’t take too long to connect with his character. “That the film was based on a real story with real characters really touched me. I spent quality time reading up on Rinku, his childhood, his journey from playing gully cricket to baseball. I connected with him at an emotional level,” confesses Suraj.
He states that Rinku adapted himself to changes pretty well. “It wasn’t easy to talk, walk and behave like Rinku but the journey so far has been a rewarding experience and the role changed me as a person and as an actor,” he recollects.
Suraj set foot into the big screen with ‘Life of Pi’ and he recollects that there were times when he wondered if a story like that would go down well with people. “But I just went with the flow and did what was expected of me. I blindly followed the instructions of the director and the result was unbelievably amazing. I grew up a lot in my head after that movie,” he shares.
And he dubs his experience of working in ‘Million Dollar Arm’ as an emotionally fulfilling journey. “Playing the character really opened my eyes to how natural acting can be. What I learnt was to understand and feel various human emotions,” he adds.
Suraj says he couldn’t have made it this far without the unconditional support of his family.
“My parents are both IITians and they both come from a science background. But they have stood by me and given me the confidence to chase my dream,” he signs off.