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Competish in the wings

"A boy drifting across the Pacific without Tom Hanks? How are you going to sit through that?" quipped helmer Ang Lee

“A boy drifting across the Pacific without Tom Hanks? How are you going to sit through that?” quipped helmer Ang Lee before a special screening of “Life of Pi” at 20th Century Fox Studios.

Not that Friday’s unspooling didn’t have its own mishaps: As the iconic Fox drumroll began ringing out through the Zanuck Theater, Lee rushed back up to the podium. “I forgot to thank the most important person — Suraj Sharma!” Lee added as the house lights dimmed up, then down again.

Sharma, for one, didn’t appear to be offended. The young thesp said he was still reveling in the excitement of his unlikely rise to fame.

“I was accompanying my brother to audition for the movie. I didn’t have any intention of trying out!” Sharma said with a laugh. “I even forgot my lines in front of Ang in the fourth round. But he helped me through it and … I don’t know. I got the part.”

As for the future, it appears Lee inspired him to be more than an actor. “I’d love to be a filmmaker one day,” Sharma said with a grin.

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