Devika Bhise who plays the role of Gayatri, the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan’s wife in The Man Who Knew Infinity , has been born and brought up in Manhattan.
But the Indian side of this actress whom we saw play a small but interesting part in Griffin Dunne’s The Accident Husband,always dominated her personality.
“I’ve been learning and mastering the Bharat Natyam dance form from the age of 4 in Manhattan. I think my dancing was one of the main reasons why I bagged the role of Gayatri. You see, Bharat Natyam involves a lot of the Tamilian Iyenger culture to which Ramanujan and his wife belonged. Bharat Natyam is not just about dancing. Along with the dance I also learnt the whole culture, the Sanskrit shlokas, the body language and the language of the Iyenger Brahmins,” says Devika excitedly as she proceeds to Chennai to join Dev Patel to film Matt Brown’s bio-pic The Man Who Knew Infinity on the life of Ramanujan.
Devika also spent time in Cambridge where Ramanjuan studied. There she met and interacted extensively with RobertKanigel who wrote the Ramanujan bio-pic on which the film is based.
“Robert had the good fortune to meet Ramanujan’s wife Gayatri. Though she was much older than me when he met her he provided me invaluable insight into her personality.” Says Devika who has studied acting at the John Hopkins University under the guidance of the legendary actor John Astin.
The training sits lightly on the sprightly actress who is now looking forward to shooting with Dev Patel.
“I met him at Cambridge and we spent time getting to know one another. It was very important for me to know him before we started shooting. My role is that of a very supportive wife. It is said that Ramanujan could not have been the man that he was if it wasn’t for his wife.”
The film opens in India on April 22. And Devika is understandably excited.