How a Subway Sandwich Led to 'Life of Pi'

by David Weiner 3:15 PM PST, November 19, 2012
Playing How a Subway Sandwich Led to 'Life of Pi'

Ang Lee's highly anticipated adaptation of Life of Pi comes to the big screen in lush 3D on November 21, and newcomer Suraj Sharma says he landed the lead by chance when his nervous brother bribed him with a Subway sandwich to keep him company at the audition!

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"I guess I got pretty lucky, because I didn't know what I was doing," says the 20-year-old Sharma of landing the role of a lifetime in the philosophical survival/adventure tale. "What more can you want? It's super exciting."

Life of Pi follows Pi Patel (Sharma), the son of an Indian zookeeper who seeks refuge on a lifeboat after his freighter sinks, adrift alone in the Pacific in tight quarters with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Half-delusional with thirst and hunger, how can Pi survive his epic journey?

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The Oscar winning Lee tells ET of casting Sharma as the lead, "He looks like Pi. When I saw him, I saw the movie. He's a soulful young man. I think the camera and audience will like him, and he's an incredible talent -- halfway through the [screen] test I knew I had the movie."