Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) and veteran actor Jeremy Irons (Inland Empire) are set to appear as Srinivasa Ramanujan and G.H. Hardy respectively in the upcoming biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity about the complicated relationship between the autodidact math prodigy from India and his sympathetic British mentor. The film also stars Toby Jones (Infamous) as J.E. Littlewood and Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) as Sir Francis Spring. The film is directed by Matt Brown (Ropewalk) and has a release date of April 29.
Speaking about his role, Patel discussed his struggle with math as a subject and noted the irony of playing a Math genius given his own lack of proficiency. Matt Brown, the director also mentioned the math aspect of the film saying, “We didn’t want to shy away from mathematics. I had wonderful teachers. I wanted this film to take on the mathematics”.
The real Ramanujan suffered poverty and health problems throughout his life and didn’t receive much of a formal education. G.H. Hardy, when receiving Ramanujan’s work in England was impressed by their originality. The two met at the onset of World War 1. Two years after arriving in England and working with Hardy and a fellow mathematician Ramanujan was awarded an equivalent of a PhD.
Jeremy Irons was recently interviewed by The Guardian about his role as Hardy. To quote Irons, “Hardy loved his mind. And I think he lived in his mind”. He also said about racial and class prejudice against those of meager financial resources depicted in the film– “But, of course, if you want to succeed, then you can overcome that.”
The trailer for The Man Who Knew Infinity is available below: