Madhavan as Ramanujan, the Mathematical genius
It is not surprising that Hollywood is planning to make a film on Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the world's great mathematicians. Though born in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujan spent some of his creative time in London with another renowned mathematician Godfrey Hardy. Their unusual friendship is an interesting theme for any script writer.
The lead role of Ramanujan will be played by R Madhavan.
The film will be based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel and directed by Matt Brown.
In this interview, Madhavan tells Shobha Warrier how he got the role.
When did the film on Ramanujan come to you?
I was first offered another script. I met that director and when I read the script, I found it not at all interesting. I said no to the film.
After a while, another person called and said they are making a film on Ramanujan. I said I read the script and found it quite uninteresting.
He then said, I think you are mistaking us for the other person. We are from Hollywood. He said he would send me the script. I agreed, but I was sure I was going to say no.
But when I went through this script, I was totally bowled over. I was struck by the amazing quality of the script to keep you spell bound. It was an outstanding script. Very few scripts can give you that kind of a feeling.
Image: R Madhavan in Yaavarum Nalam
'The script based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity'
Was the script based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity?
Yes. The script was written based on the book. After reading the script, I was eager to be a part of the film.
The sessions will start in March.
Is it true that Colin Firth is going to portray the role of Hardy?
I can't talk about it. I think nothing has been finalised yet.
How much of effort will you have to put in to portray a man who was alive once and was a mathematical genius?
We haven't started the workshop yet. I will be able to answer only after we start shooting or after I finish shooting it. We have a contract and we are not supposed to talk much about the film.
Image: Cover of the book The Man Who Knew Infinity
'I have already gone to Ramanujan's house to assimilate the ambience'
Have you read the book?
Of course, I have read the book.
The house in Kumbhakonam where Ramanujan was born and lived is a museum now. Do you plan to go there?
I have already gone there to assimilate the ambience.
Physically also, you have to change a lot, put on weight. He also had long hair...
He had long hair only in the beginning. Later on, it was cut. Yes, he was very fat. I have already started putting on weight. But I have to eat the right kind of food...
Are you excited because you are going to portray a genius?
I am terribly excited. He was an extraordinary person. If it works out, it will be one of a kind.
Image: Picture of Srinivasa Ramanujan