New Delhi: He may have started his cinematic journey as an actor but Suraj Sharma says he is keen to follow his `Life of Pi` helmer Ang Lee into filmmaking.
Suraj was 17 when he was selected by Lee out of 3000 hopefuls to play Pi, a young Indian boy lost in the ocean for months with a Bengal tiger.
He turned 20 yesterday and with the experience of making the mega movie behind him, Suraj says he feels old.
"Life has changed completely after `Life Of Pi`. I have changed completely as a person. I have become older and more aware about the world," Suraj told PTI after attending a special screening of the movie, which was organised by Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC) to celebrate its Oscar success.
"Finally, I have a vague ambition of filmmaking. It`s really interesting to see how things are going. It`s a new kind of beginning in many ways with many Bollywood and Hollywood projects in my hands. I am yet to put my signatures on them," Suraj said.
The screening, incidentally, took place on his 20th birthday and Suraj says he cannot think of any other gift rather than a "special screening of his film".
"The film is very close to my heart. It gave me recognition worldwide. It helped me to realise my own dreams. I have never thought I will get such a start in my career. There is nothing better than that when your hard work pays off at the end," he said.
The first year Philosophy student at St Stephen`s, Suraj recalled his memories of being a part of grand Oscars night in Hollywood where ‘Pi’ won four trophies, including the Best Director statuette for Lee.
"I was screaming from the back with every win for our film. It was a great night. But the one, I really wanted to win is the Best director for Ang. When the Best director category was getting announced, everyone was numb and nervous. It took some seconds to sink in the fact that Ang really got the award. He deserved it and I was really happy," he said.
Suraj considers Lee his mentor but says it would be really difficult to explain the enigmatic filmmaker, who has been behind genre-defying classics like `Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon`, `Hulk`, `Sense and Sensibility` and `Brokeback Mountain`.
"Ang Lee is very hard to explain. He knows what he wants. He is focused, detailed and calm. When you see him work. You really feel like doing work. He is a proper leader and idol. For all of us on the set, he was the guiding light. It was a hard journey for the crew, but he took us the way in it is highly commendable," he said.
The actor, who was previously restrained from his college to write his exams but was allowed later, said he is now maintaining a balance between his studies and career.
"I am managing both of them. My college is quite proud of me. I am managing my studies also because first year Philosophy is not the hardest thing on earth. I want to make films eventually," said.