Vidya Balan is known for her versatility and acting prowess. Every role that she has portrayed on celluloid has turned out magically magnetic, be it Parineeta, Dirty Picture, Munnabhai MBBS or Tumhari Sulu. And now Vidya is all set to portray the role of the Human Computer, Shakuntala Devi in an eponymous biopic.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, Vidya Balan spoke at length on filing the biopic of Shakuntala Devi, her love for maths, and the similarities and differences between her and the mathematician wizard.
Excerpts from the interview.
What intrigued her to do biopic Shakuntala Devi?
Firstly, I am very thrilled and passionate about telling the story of Shakuntala Devi, I am so inspired by her. After this amazing response of the trailer, I am all the more excited for the film to release.
Box office numbers play a vital role in Bollywood, and as the film is releasing on an OTT platform; the response will be faster than you ever imagined?
There is always nervousness your film is like your baby, and you will present the baby to the world. Want to know, whether they like your baby love your baby, hoping they accept your baby.
Preparations for the biopic?
Back in school, I enjoyed math's and I enjoyed numbers even more. Therefore, the film wasn't tough for me. Preparations involved finding joy in numbers, the way she (Shakuntala Devi) did. When you look at her old videos you will know how well she played with numbers. The way she interacted with the audience. She always said that there is no need to fear math. All she taught us was making friends with numbers is all you need.
Were you called Shakuntala Devi during school time, if you would solve mathematical problems faster than your friends?
(Laughs) No, not really but yes if someone is good in Mental maths, people do call them Yeh Shakuntala Devi hai,
How did you prepare nuances of Shakuntala Devi's personal life, that no one knows about?
Basically, our writer Anu Menon would speak to her daughter Anupama Banerjee. And I would hear the conversation and pick up things from her life. Everything was mentioned in the script. Besides reading the script I also had access to these tapes.
What's your take away from the film Shakuntala Devi?
If you believe in your self the world is your oyster.
What are the difference and similarities between you and Shakuntala Devi?
Well, the biggest similarity we have is that we both laugh loudly (laughs). She is a genius and I am not. She was way ahead of her times and she is an inspiration. I feel she was a true-blue feminist; I don't know whether she called herself one. Who felt she had all the right to her life like a man would? She didn't understand why there were separate rules for men and women.