'Life of Pi': Five close calls for this 'unfilmable' survival adventure

Pi-lifeboat

Image Credit: Rhythm & Hues

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Yes, Lee was even responsible for teaching Sharma to swim.

For someone who had never acted in a movie before, Sharma found himself with not just the massive responsibility of not only carrying this fantasy-survival tale, but also doing his own stunts. Many of them involved swimming, so Lee and Co. had to make sure he knew what he was doing.

Among the most complicated shots required Sharma to swim underwater through a submerged hallway in the steamer ship while it was sinking. Sharma concedes that he had many points where he was close to breaking, but says it was the expectation of Lee and the crew kept him going.

“There were so many people involved in this and so many people who are so good at what they do, they all genuinely became like a family to me,” Sharma says. “And when you’re with your family there’s no pressure, there’s no pressure. When I did feel like I was going to break down, I would hold it, hold it till there would be a crying scene, and then I would just cry. That worked!”

Read more:

Lisa Schwarzbaum’s ‘Life of Pi’ review
EW’s Prize Fighter on the four-way battle for Best Picture
‘Life of Pi': “All we have is difficulty: water, kids, animals, and 3-D”
Hollywood for Sale: Own a piece of ‘Life of Pi’


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