Vidya Balan will star as mathematician Shakuntala Devi in a biopic on her life, directed by Anu Menon. She is currently working on the Tamil remake of Pink. She plays Ajith Kumar’s wife in the film.
According to reports, Ronnie Screwvala is producing the biopic. However, there is no confirmation regarding this from the actor or the makers. If it is true, this will be Vidya Balan’s second biopic as the lead. Her previous film Dirty Picture, was on Silk Smitha’s life. She also acted as NTR’s wife Basavatarakam, in the recent N.T.R: Kathanayakudu.
Meanwhile, talks are reportedly on with Sanya Malhotra, who made her debut in Aamir Khan’s Dangal in 2016, to play Vidya Balan’s daughter in the film. It is expected to go on floors by mid-2019. An official announcement is yet to be made.
In a recent interview with Filmfare, the actor spoke about being fat shamed by many in the past, and learning to over come it. She said people didn’t know about the challenges that she went through. “When I was a teenager, people would tell me, ‘You’ve got such a pretty face, why don’t you lose some weight?’ It’s not a nice thing to say to anyone. Be it a child or a grown-up. So, I’d starve myself, I’d go through crazy exercise regimens and lose weight. Then the hormonal issue would settle for a bit before it reared its head again.”
“Therefore, if I can convince even one person that it’s okay to be just the way you are – thin or fat – it would be worthwhile. When people tell me why don’t you start exercising, I want to say fuck you! How do you know I haven’t been exercising?” she said.
Vidya said about overcoming these experiences, “People would insinuate that you must be eating unhealthy or that you’re lazy. And these things stick with you. It would anger me no end. I kept wanting people to stop judging me. But over time, I realised that people judge you/your body only if you do.”
She is currently also working on the Pink Tamil remake with director H Vinoth of Sathuranga Vettai fame. The film is produced by Boney Kapoor, and stars Ajith Kumar in the lead. She has also signed up for Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal, featuring Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, and Sonakshi Sinha, directed by Jagan Shakti.
In the Shakunatala Devi biopic, she plays the life of the mathematical wizard, or ‘human computer’, who was known for her ability to make incredibly swift calculations. Shakuntala Devi died in 2013, at the age of 83, due to respiratory and cardiac problems. She was an astrologer, cookbook author and novelist. She demonstrated her mathematical ideas around the world, at colleges, in theaters, on radio and television.