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Next Factor Q&A: 'Life of Pi' Star Suraj Sharma

Suraj Sharma Getty Images

He is the lead star of what figures to be one of the biggest hits this holiday season, both at the box office and on the awards circuit, but you wouldn't know it when looking for information on "Life of Pi" star Suraj Sharma.

That's because the 19-year-old Indian was plucked from obscurity via a nationwide talent search to star in the title role of Ang Lee's breathtaking adaptation of Yann Martel's spiritual bestseller.

So as we're known to do with Next Factors, we gather some intel on Suraj (pronounced "Serge") and find out, among other things, that he's just happy to be here, but also really just wants to direct. Get More »

Filed Under: Interviews Next Factor

'Life of Pi' Tiger: What's Real and What's CGI?


Putting a teenage boy and an adult Bengal tiger together in an enclosed space, such as the 20-foot lifeboat that is one of the few settings of "Life of Pi," is a dangerous proposition. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that 17-year-old star Suraj Sharma, who played Pi, was never actually in the boat with a live tiger.

"No, that never happened," Sharma told NextMovie of sharing the boat. Instead, he studied his massive, furry co-stars in their cages, and watched videos of their movement online. "I would watch them be trained and stuff like that."

"We didn't want our actor to get eaten," visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer told the New York Times." Get More »

Filed Under: Features

'Life of Pi' Trailer Gets the International Treatment

"Life of Pi" Fox

A new international trailer for "Life of Pi" has just arrived and while it retains all the incredible imagery and stunning wildlife of the first domestic trailer, this time around we get a lot more insight into the human side of things.

And the human side is something Ang Lee specializes in. Get More »

Filed Under: New Movie Trailers | Source: Deadline

15 Breakout Stars of Fall

Samantha Barks in "Les Miserables"

It must be Fall! School's finally in session, the weather is getting ever slightly cooler and the offerings at your local movie theater change from big-budget popcorn fare to serious potential award winners.

This autumn the studios have a wide array of noteworthy films to put on your must-see list, from art-house Oscar contenders to teen ensembles and much-anticipated literary and musical adaptations.

We're celebrating the start of Fall with 15 actors who are going to blow audiences away this season. Some have been around for a few years but have yet to break out and others are lucky enough to have their first major roles in buzzworthy movies.

If acclaimed directors like Ang Lee, Paul Thomas Anderson and Peter Jackson saw something in them, we probably will, too. Get More »

Filed Under: Features

15 Breakout Stars to Watch in 2012

Adrianne Palicki
Getty Images

Each new movie calendar year brings gleeful anticipation for truly thrilling cinematic surprises, be they for multi-tentacled CGI creatures, massive Michael Bay-splosions, or tear-jerking biopics.

One of the best feelings of all, though, is to come out of a theater beaming at having discovered a new talent that you just know will be around for many more years to come. All these folks have that potential for longevity, but they're starting things off with a clean slate as they attempt to win us over with breakout performances in some of Hollywood's biggest films. Get More »

Filed Under: Features

Ang Lee Casts Newcomer as Lead in 'The Life of Pi'

Suraj Sharma

Director Ang Lee is serving up an unknown actor to play Pi in his big-screen adaptation of Yann Martel's allegorical novel "The Life of Pi."

USA Today reports that after auditioning more than 3,000 young men, Lee has selected 17-year-old Delhi student Suraj Sharma as the lucky actor who gets stranded on a boat for 227 days with ravenous zoo animals.

"The Life of Pi" tells the story of 16-year-old Pi Patel, whose zookeeping family sets sail from India to Canada but their ship sinks along the way. Pi's parents and most of the animals drown, but he manages to hop aboard a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, Orange Juice the orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Get More »

Filed Under: Movie News | Source: USA Today
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