A teenager from Delhi, with no previous acting experience, has bagged the lead role in Ang Lee's forthcoming film Life of Pi, an adaptation of Canadian author Yann Martel's Booker Prize winning-novel. Sonu Sood too has been offered a role in the movie.
Suraj Sharma, 17, a student from Delhi and the son of two mathematicians, has beaten more than 3,000 other challengers for the role following months-long search, the Telegraph reports.
Sharma will play Pi Patel, who survives a shipwreck and is cast adrift in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for company.
'We searched throughout India for a young man who had the innocence to capture our attention, the depth of character to break our hearts, and the physicality needed to embody Pi on his journey,' the Oscar-winning director of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, said.
'Suraj is Pi. During his audition, he filled the room with emotion, much of which he conveyed simply through his eyes. His natural ability to believe and stay in the world of the story is a rare treasure,' he added.
Lee plans to begin the shooting of the film in January in Taiwan and India.
Set to be released in December 2012, he will utilise state-of-the-art technology to bring the story to life, and the film will be released in 3D.