Sanya Malhotra on playing Anupama Banerji in Shakuntala Devi: Her growing-up years intrigued me

Updated: Aug 01, 2020, 07:53 IST | Uma Ramasubramanian | Mumbai

Playing Anupama Banerji in Shakuntala Devi, Sanya Malhotra discusses bringing the unusual mother-daughter relationship to screen.

A still from Shakuntala Devi
A still from Shakuntala Devi

With Shakuntala Devi, director Anu Menon introduced us to the woman who had a way with numbers. But where she has celebrated Devi's achievements in the field of math, the director has also deftly showcased the protagonist's difficult relationship with daughter Anupama Banerji. Sanya Malhotra, who plays Banerji in the Vidya Balan-led film, says she was fascinated by the unconventional mother-daughter relationship.

"I was excited to understand her psyche because she must have gone through various experiences as she grew up with a famous mother. As a child, she used to often travel with her mother to the shows. I was intrigued by those years and how she rationalised it all. Anu helped me in prepping for the character; we developed a backstory to her. I also met my friends who shared a similar relationship with their mother," says the actor. Malhotra, who traded her signature curls for fringes, believes the styling and make-up brought her closer to inhabiting her character.

Also Read: Five things that prove Shakuntala Devi was way ahead of her time


In her first collaboration with Balan, the actor notes that they wonderfully fed off each other's creative energies, thus bringing a spontaneous quality to the mother-daughter equation. "Initially, I was nervous about sharing screen space with Vidya. But the nervousness disappeared on the first day of shoot; she is a brilliant co-actor who has the ability to ground you with her energy."

Also Read: Sanya Malhotra: I think the hair and the make-up helped me tremendously to feel and be like Anupama Banerji

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