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Never associated maths with fun: Vidya Balan on Shakuntala Devi biopic


The award-winning actress discusses some of her upcoming projects after Mission Mangal (2019).

Sonal Pandya

It has been over a year and a half since Vidya Balan was seen in a Hindi film. Her last, Tumhari Sulu (2017), fetched her the Filmfare Best Actress award, her fourth. This year, Vidya has performed small roles in the South films NTR: Kathanayakudu (2019, Telugu), NTR: Mahanayakudu (2019, Telugu) and the recently released Nerkonda Paarvai (2019, Tamil).

At a recent media interaction for her upcoming film Mission Mangal (2019), the actress spoke about what was next for her. It was recently announced that Vidya would be acting in a short film, Natkhat. The actress said she became a producer in name only for the project, unlike her producer husband Siddharth Roy Kapur.

“I’m not interested in production,” she said, laughing. “Ronnie [Screwvala] said this is a short film and we can’t afford you. So I said don’t pay me. He said can we offer you producer credit, so I said great! All the work of being a producer, he and his team have done.

It’s called Natkhat. It’s a lovely mother-child story which is basically talking about how parenting is the determining factor in gender equality,” she continued.

The actress is also tied up in two projects where she will play two fascinating women, Shakuntala Devi and Indira Gandhi. Shooting for the former is set to begin this September, Vidya revealed, and said she is most excited to play the mathematician called the ‘Human Computer’.

Confirmed! Vidya Balan to play mathematics genius Shakuntala Devi in her biopic

“It’s amazing for me that someone who was known as a human computer had so much fun," she said. "She had a crazy side to her. Or not a crazy side. Maths was the only straight side to her, which makes her so fascinating. She’s fun and I never associated maths with fun. That’s why I’m doing it.”

For the latter, Vidya has bought the rights to Sagarika Ghose's book, Indira: India's Most Powerful Prime Minister, and will be adapting it as a web-series.

“But it’s taking very long to put together, because it’s so much material and the web-series format requires a lot of work. So it’s taking time, but let’s hope,” she said.

In the meantime, fans can catch Vidya as the project director of Mission Mangal (2019), directed by first-time filmmaker Jagan Shakti, due to be released on Independence Day, 15 August.