Devika Bhise ”“ a great actress in the making

Manju - devika










By Manju Mittal

Indo American actress who has played the female lead role opposite Dev Patel in Hollywood film “The Man Who Knew Infinity”. The film directed by Mathew Brown, Devika Bhise portrays the role of Janki, wife of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan in the film “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, was the opening film of the 46th International Film Festival of India ( IFFI ). The film has premiered at the Toronto and Zurich Film Festival in early 2015.

Devika Bhise, daughter of famed Bharatnatyam dancer Swati Bhise, who also co produced the film. Devika, who is born and brought up in the New York is an accomplished actress, Bharatnatyam dancer, Jazz vocalist and Indian classical vocalist. Devika is a frequent visitor to Goa she has a beautiful home in Dona Paula where I was invited over to her house for the Interview. Devika was wearing plain black dress, I must add, was simply stunning. Multi talented actress Devika talks about her passion, style and her latest film that premiered at IFFI and a film that everyone was talking about in Goa.

How would you describe yourself for our readers who may not be aware of your work?

From my childhood I have been intensely involved in Bharatnatyam dance under the guidance of my mother. I am a theatre artist too. “The Man Who Knew Infinity” isn’t my first tryst with the mathematician’s story I also happened to play the role of a Goddess Namagiri in a play based on him sometime back. A Play “The Partition” and the movie “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, handle the subject matter of Ramanujan’s life in entirely different ways. The play focused on the mathematics, including ghosts of mathematicians that inspired Ramanujan. The film is based on reality and focuses more on human relationships- his love with Janki and his beautiful friendship with Hardy.

I have also acted in 2008 film “The accidental Husband”. I have also worked in Documentaries, including “Hijra” the third gender and Anamika. The documentary won the Best Social Documentary Award in the Los Angeles Film Festival. I have performed in Goa quite a lot. I danced Bharatnatyam at the opening of the Sadir Theatre Festival at Kala Academy and sang Jazz at the Goa Literary festival.

Being an NRI, Your role in “The Man Who Knew Infinity” What was the biggest challenge essaying the role of ”˜Janki’ and how did you prepare for the role?

My biggest challenge in essaying the role of Janki was to transform from contemporary New Yorker to Tamilian Brahmin Lyengar wife from the 1910s. To prepare for the role, I read the book, I have done lot of research on the character and the story and what was most helpful was my meeting with Robert Kenigel. My training in Bharatnatyam also helped me understand the cultural intricacies of the Tamilian Brahmin Iyengar community.

How was your experience working with Dev Patel?

It was so much fun working with Dev as I am pretty much the same age as Dev and we hung out on the sets to get to know one another, he brings a great deal of spontaneity to his acting. I have seen his film Slumdog Millionaire and he gave a great performance.

Tell us about your current projects?

I am extremely happy signing my next film Hollywood film “Shambhala” which also stars Mission Impossible III actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers. My character is so different from Janki. The story of the film is very intriguing and I can’t reveal much about my character in the film but I am sure it will definitely leave an impact on audience.

Any plans of doing Bollywood films in the future?

( Laughs ) Everyone ask me would you do Bollywood, yes it depends on the project, something like an art film or a script that I enjoy and which would make a substantial film, I will take it. I have watched quite a few Bollywood and Aamir Khan is my favourite.

It was great meeting Devika. Her role in “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is quite intense with her portraying a silently suffering wife who supports her husband all the way. The movie will travel to Singapore and Dubai Film Festival and will be released in Australia in May 2016.


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