Vidya Balan is one of the most versatile actresses of Bollywood. From Parineeta to The Dirty Picture to Kahaani to Tumhari Sulu, she has played a variety of roles on the big screen effortlessly.
Vidya’s next film is Shakuntala Devi which is getting a direct-to-digital release on Amazon Prime Video. We recently interacted with the actress and asked her how she manages to do such a variety of roles in movies, to which, she said, “I don’t know, I am very glad that I get this variety of roles. I am glad that writers and directors have the faith in me to offer me different kinds of roles and stories. And I just pick up what excites me the most and then go ahead and do it. I enjoy what I do.”
The movie is a biopic on the mathematician and writer Shakuntala Devi. So, we asked Vidya if she tried to solve some sums during the shooting of the film, to which, the actress said, “No (laughs), they gave me readymade answers. I can remember numbers, but there’s no chance that I can sit and solve them, and some of them were really complicated, it would have taken me 50 minutes or 50 days to solve it.”
Further talking about the preparations that she did to play Shakuntala Devi, Vidya told us, “I went through videos and I realised that her maths shows were not regular maths shows, they were magic shows. She made maths magical. She infused her shows with humour, she made fun of people, she used examples that people would remember, and therefore people suddenly were not intimated by maths anymore. They felt like ‘this can be fun too’.”
“So, I had to capture her essence, especially in the maths shows because she performed it like she was enjoying being on stage and doing what she did the best and of course for the rest of the story I had access to lots of incidents, events, anecdotes from her life which Anu Menon (director) had got her from her daughter and son-in-law. So, reading that also gave me a sense of who she was as a person.”
Shakuntala Devi will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 31st July 2020.