Suraj Sharma

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Suraj Sharma
Sharma promoting Life of Pi in 2012
Born (1993-03-21) 21 March 1993 (age 31)[1]
Alma materSt. Stephen's College, University of Delhi
Years active2010–present

Suraj Sharma (born 21 March 1993) is an Indian actor who made his debut in the 2012 film Life of Pi.[2] Directed by Ang Lee, the film was adapted from the novel of the same name, and earned Sharma critical acclaim as well as a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.[3] In 2014, he portrayed Aayan Ibrahim in season 4 of the Showtime series Homeland.[4] From 2018 to 2020, he starred as Rakesh Singh in the CBS comedy-drama series God Friended Me.

Life and career[edit]

Sharma was born and brought up in a Malayali family in New Delhi, India.[5] His father, Gokul Churai, is a software engineer from Thalassery, Malabar and a professional chess player, while his mother, Shailaja Sharma, is an economist from Palakkad, Kerala.[6][5] He has a younger brother, Sriharsh Sharma, who has also acted in two films, and a younger sister, Dhruvatara Sharma. He attended Sardar Patel Vidyalaya secondary school, and later studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. With no prior acting experiences, he auditioned along with his brother for the role of Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel in Life of Pi (2012). Sharma went through several rounds of auditions before winning the title role, beating out 3,000 other young men.[7][8][9] Director Ang Lee has stated that he selected Sharma primarily based on his expressive eyes and innocent appearance. According to him, Sharma had not only the emotion, but also the "look" of Pi. His "medium complexion" and "average build" were deemed perfect for the role.[10] The film was met with critical acclaim, winning four Academy Awards; Sharma's performance received positive reviews, and he was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award.[11]

After filming Life of Pi, Sharma returned to studying philosophy at St. Stephen's College, with the intention of continuing to work in filmmaking in some capacity.[8] He subsequently undertook a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.[citation needed] In 2014, he portrayed Aayan Ibrahim, nephew of a terrorist, in season 4 of the Showtime political thriller series Homeland.[12] That same year, he portrayed Rinku Singh in the sports biopic Million Dollar Arm.[13] He then co-starred with Tony Revolori in the Indian comedy-drama Umrika,[14] which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In 2016, he starred in the Mongolian-American adventure drama film Burn Your Maps.[15] He has also portrayed the role of Kanan Gill in his first Bollywood venture, Anshai Lal's romance comedy Phillauri co-starring Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh.[16] From 2018 to 2020, he starred as Rakesh Singh in the CBS comedy-drama series God Friended Me.[17] In 2019, he appeared in the American science fiction black comedy slasher film Happy Death Day 2U, a sequel to Christopher Landon's 2017 film Happy Death Day.[18] In the same year, he appeared as Hassan in Danish Renzu's Indian American English-language drama film titled The Illegal.[19]

In May 2021, Sharma was cast in How I Met Your Mother spinoff series, How I Met Your Father led by Hilary Duff. In November 2021, Duff and the cast confirmed via social media accounts that the series will premiere on 18 January 2022.[20] The series was released on 18 January 2022.[21] On 15 February 2022, Hulu renewed the series for a 20-episode second season.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
2012 Life of Pi Pi Patel Nominated – BAFTA Rising Star Award
2014 Million Dollar Arm Rinku Singh
2015 Umrika Older Ramakant
2016 Burn Your Maps Ismail
2017 Phillauri Kanan Gill
The Hungry Ankur Joshi
The Lost Dev Mukherjee Short film
2019 Happy Death Day 2U Samar Ghosh
Killerman FedEx
The Illegal Hassan
2022 Wedding Season Ravi
2023 Gulmohar Aditya
TBA This Tempting Madness TBA


Year Title Role Notes
2014–2015 Homeland Aayan Ibrahim 7 episodes
2018–2020 God Friended Me Rakesh Singh Series regular
2020 Little America Kabir Episode: "The Manager"
2022–2023 How I Met Your Father Sid Main Cast
2022 Pantheon IT Officer (voice) Episode: “The Gods Will Not Be Slain”
2023 Star Wars: Visions Charuk (voice) Episode: "The Bandits of Golak"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2012 British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Life of Pi Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Young Actor/Actress Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Youth in Film Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Breakthrough Performance on Camera Nominated
2013 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Best Scared-As-Shit Performance Won
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor Won
Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Breakthrough Performance – Male Nominated
2015 London Indian Film Festival Pure Heaven Outstanding Young Talent Himself Won
2021 Yellowstone International Film Festival Best Actor The Illegal Won
2023 2023 Filmfare OTT Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Web Original Film Gulmohar Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Michael (13 September 2012). "Suraj Sharma: 'Pi' player – Entertainment News, Youth Impact Report, Media". Variety. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Ang Lee praises Suraj Sharma's work in 'Life of Pi'". The Times of India. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Adrift With a Tiger and the Film God". The New York Times. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  4. ^ Priyanka Roy (21 November 2020). "Life of Pi man Suraj Sharma chats about choosing to pursue a career in the west but being open to bollywood". The Telegraph. India. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b "'Life of Pi' star Suraj Sharma is a Malayalee and the film also shot in Munnar". UK Malayalee. 7 January 2013. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013.
  6. ^ Gokul Churai. FIDE.
  7. ^ "Next Factor Q&A: 'Life of Pi' Star Suraj Sharma". NextMovie. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Suraj Sharma: Actor's Role In 'Life of Pi' Proves Life-Changing". HuffPost. 17 November 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Memoir by Rajiv Surendra traces actor’s parallels with Life of Pi". The Globe and Mail, 18 November 2016.
  10. ^ "'Life of Pi': Suraj Sharma's Odyssey From Typical Teen to Leading Man". The Hollywood Reporter. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Suraj Sharma nominated for BAFTA rising star award". NDTV Movies. 7 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Suraj Sharma to star in 'Homeland 4'". Press Trust of India. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  13. ^ Sneider, Jeff (17 April 2013). 'Life of Pi' Star Suraj Sharma Joins Jon Hamm in Disney's 'Million Dollar Arm'. TheWrap. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  14. ^ Aishwarya Vasudevan (23 March 2021). "DNA Exclusive! 'Want South Asians in writers' room': 'The Illegal' actor Suraj Sharma on brown representation in H'wood". DNA India. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (23 July 2015). "Vera Farmiga, Virginia Madsen Starring in Comedy-Drama 'Burn Your Maps'". Variety. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Anushka Sharma announces new romantic movie 'Phillauri' under her production house". DNA India. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  17. ^ Miller, Bruce R. "Suraj Sharma of 'God Friended Me' says he got lucky in show business". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  18. ^ Fathima Ashraf (20 November 2020). "'For a person of colour, it's tough in the US to come across a substantial role': Suraj Sharma". The New Indian Express Indulge. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  19. ^ Mini Anthikad Chhibber (21 March 2021). "Ahead of 'The Illegal', Suraj Sharma describes his acting journey". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  20. ^ "See Hilary Duff and Her How I Met Your Father Co-Stars Reveal the Premiere Date". 17 November 2021.
  21. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (17 November 2021). "How I Met Your Father Gets January Premiere Date on Hulu – Watch Video". TVLine. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  22. ^ Cordero, Rosy (15 February 2022). "'How I Met Your Father' Renewed For Season 2 at Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 February 2022.

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