While many filmmakers have of late expressed the desire to bring to screen the life of the late Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, it now emerges that director Matt Brown has signed R Madhavan to play the mathematician in a new Hollywood project.
The actor will play mathematician Ramanujan (below) in a Hollywood project
According to recent reports, director Rohit Jugraj intends to make a biopic on the late mathematician with Tamil actor Suriya, while director Roger Spottiswoode, who earlier made the hit Tomorrow Never Dies has made a similar announcement, with actor Siddharth in the title role.
Madhavan has reportedly dived headlong into the project, spending all his time researching the mathematician's life. A family member of the actor, on the condition of anonymity, said, "Our house has become a Ramanujan museum. The bedroom is always cluttered with his books. And even when he is not shooting, Maddy is away in Kumbakaon (the Tamil Nadu village where Ramanujan grew up)."
The actor has reportedly spent a substantial period of the last six months travelling in and out of Kumbakaon. When contacted, Madhavan said, "I've virtually been reliving Ramanujan's life. I've slept on his bed, visited the temple and library he used to visit everyday. I am sorry if people around me are freaking out. But this role is my biggest challenge ever, and I can't mess it up."
Madhavan is reportedly not just taking maths lessons to understand Ramanujan's theories, he is also putting on more weight to better resemble the mathematician. He said, "Ramanujan was not fat. But he led an unhealthy life and I'm trying to get his flabby physique and pale demeanour. It might look unflattering but that's okay."
Talking about how researching the life of the mathematician has inspired him, Madhavan said, "No relatives of Ramanujan are left as such. His wife died in 2003, and, do you know, she refused to take a single paisa from the government, even though she was living in a state of near-penury?"
According to the makers, the film will be shot at locations where Ramanujan lived, including Trinity College in Cambridge, where he befriended his mentor Professor GH Hardy. They are reportedly trying to rope in Anthony Hopkins to play Hardy.