New Delhi: Indo-American actress Devika Bhise, who has landed the female lead role opposite Dev Patel in Hollywood film ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity', says it is inspiring to play Srinivasa Ramanujan's wife Janaki in the biopic.
Devika, 23, finds Janaki's life inspiring and has been doing a lot of research to portray the character. She feels it was part destiny that brought the role to her as she has already done a play ‘The Partition' based on the Robert Kanigel's book ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity', which also forms the basis for Matthew Brown's ambitious project on the life of Indian mathematical genius.
Apart from Patel and Devika, the biopic stars Oscar-award-winning actor Jeremy Irons who plays Ramanujan's mentor, G H Hardy.
“It was the same story but more fantastical with ghosts and goddesses. I played the role of goddess Namagiri as Janaki's character was not there. To prepare for the role, I read the book, did lot of research on the net but what was most helpful was a meeting with Kanigel,” Devika told PTI in an interview.
The actress, a graduate from John Hopkins university, will be making a trip to Chennai soon to shoot her part in the Hollywood project.
Devika says her meeting with Kanigel gave her some help in understanding the person that Janaki became after Ramanujan's death.
“He met Janaki when she was a lot older. I got a sense of who she was through him. It would be easy to play her as sort of a docile woman who did not have a huge part in things that were going around her but I think she was strong. “It would take a lot of courage to send your husband to Cambridge knowing that it would be hard on your life. What inspires me is to know how ahead of her time she was. It would be challenging to get the complexity of her character across,” says Devika.
Besides being an aspiring actor, Devika is an accomplished actress, Bharatanatyam dancer, Hindustani classical and jazz vocalist.
The actress feels her extensive training in Bharatanatyam “helped her understand the cultural intricacies of the Tamilian Brahmin Iyengar community”. Born and raised in Manhattan, she has also acted in 2008 film ‘The Accidental Husband', co-starring Uma Thurman and ‘Anamika: Her Glorious Past'.
Most recently, Devika appeared in Partial Comfort's off-Broadway production of ‘And Miles To Go' and has a supporting role in an episode of the upcoming MTV series ‘One Bad Choice'.