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Suraj Sharma

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Phillauri

Two big-budget Hollywood movies, a popular American TV show and now a new film [Phillauri] ready for release. Are you still the same Delhi boy who gets anxious with what lies ahead?
I guess I'll never have a sense of certainty about what happens next in life! I have been juggling work with studies and usually the future for me means—tomorrow's classes and assignments! I have taken things as they come. My film Burn Your Maps is also releasing in theatres worldwide in March—that's another production which was shot in Canada, with another immensely talented cast and crew from America. Like Phillauri, it is also an unusual and gripping story. 

What does the big Indian mainstream debut feel like considering Umrika wasn’t Bollywood per se?
Have to say I'm nervously excited! It’s a huge step for me to be a part of the mainstream film project in India. Right now, I am going through imagining how the audience will react, and whether I did my part properly. It’s great that the trailer is getting liked a lot and my cousins and friends liked it too. As an actor, I want to be relevant to Indian audiences, because this is my home.

What inspired you to take this role?
I read the script and discussed with a few people I usually ask about such things, and we all really liked it. I love comic situations. At the same time, there was this deep story running through it all—which weaves history into an otherwise light-hearted narrative. The story is rich in terms of the associations, the folklore, music, and geography. It is a fantastic story, beautifully written, and by turns deep and light. Then I met Karnesh [Producer] and Anshai [Director] and Anvita ma'am [Writer] and we all hit it off. So there was no question, this was it. 

How was it working with Anushka?
I've been very fortunate to work with inspirational people throughout and this was no exception. I was struck by her professionalism and easy manner. She made me feel completely at ease and we established instant chemistry. She is a terrific actor and a person of substance.

What did Phillauri—a romantic dramady demand from you as an actor? What work was done to look the part?
Well, I had to look the part of a Punjabi NRI, so they started by giving me a typical hair-cut! Having lived in Delhi, I had a sense of the kind of persona I had to portray and so I just slipped into the part. I landed here after my exams and we started the shoot almost immediately.

 

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