‘Life of Pi’ star Suraj Sharma happy to be back in Taiwan


TAIPEI — Indian actor Suraj Sharma, who starred in Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s 3D film “Life of Pi,” said yesterday he is happy to visit Taiwan again and he thanked his Taiwanese fans for their support.

“It’s just really nice to come back,” said Sharma, 20, who is on a sightseeing visit to Taiwan with his younger brother Sriharsh.

Sharma said he has been visiting friends he had made during the shooting of the movie and he and his brother have been trying food in Taipei such as hot pot, beef noodles and dumplings since their arrival on Aug. 9.

The smell of the food stalls and the sounds in Taiwan, such as the greeting at the convenience stores, “bring back really good memories,” he told CNA.

During their six-day visit, the brothers will travel to Taichung in central Taiwan, where “Life of Pi” was shot.

The actor made his debut playing the lead character, Pi Patel, in “Life of Pi.” The film, over 70 percent of which was shot in Taiwan, explores faith through tales of a shipwrecked boy adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.

Lee had a water tank built at a former airport site in Taichung to film most of the ocean scenes and hired 3,000 people to work on the movie. It won four Academy Awards in February, including a second Oscar for Lee as a director.

Sharma said the Taiwanese people offered great support to the crew before, during and after the production of the film and he is thankful for that. “For us, it was never a blockbuster, it was our baby. And you really took care of this baby really well,” Sharma said. “I’m just so grateful to every one of you.”