Direction is definitely in the offing: Suraj Sharma

Direction is definitely in the offing: Suraj Sharma

The ‘Life of Pi’ actor will be next seen in a horror comedy series

In 'Life of Pi', Suraj Sharma played a 17-year-old boy stranded in the middle of the ocean with a tiger as a companion.

He has come a long way since then with many successful films and television series to his credit. Suraj, who believes in learning on the job, is doing comedy in ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ which will have an Indian television premiere on November 22, 9 pm on Sony PIX.

He spoke to Showtime ahead of the premiere.

You started acting when you were very young. Did that change things for you?

At 17, your life kind of turns on its head. I had to relearn a lot of things. I was lucky to be blessed with family and friends who helped me move in the right direction.  

You don’t come from a film background. Were your parents supportive?

My parents are both academicians, but very artistically inclined. As children, we were encouraged to learn an instrument and dance. That laid a foundation for us in the field of music and art. My brother, sister and I completed our education, and our parents backed us up when we decided to chase our dreams. 

How did venturing into television change your life?

Television offers interesting experiences. You know your character and part very well because you have played many episodes. You also have very little time to learn as it is a constantly moving machine; you have to adapt fast. You also learn what you can and can’t do as an actor. 

Your latest series, ‘Happy Death Day 2U’, is a mix of horror and comedy. Between the two, what really sells?

Both horror and comedy sell well. I feel the audience relates to suspense and latches onto it faster than any other genre. ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ has loads of comedy and makes for a great entertainer. Every character is unique.

Are you comfortable doing comedy?

As a person, I think I am funny. But I do feel that between drama and comedy, the latter is my weaker suit. I am constantly learning, so that really helps.  

Do you like learning on the job or being prepared well in advance? 

I definitely prepare in advance, but I believe that you’ve got to be in the moment and be aware of what improvisations your co-star does. 

How do you handle success? 

Success came to me very early and I had to literally rebuild and relearn so many things. You have to cherish success, respect it but, sometimes, maybe ignore it just so that it doesn't get to your head. 

Acting is going great for you. Is direction on the cards?

I enjoy writing, so direction is definitely in the offing. In order to do that, I will first have to learn the skill and observe some directors before taking the plunge.