Jeremy Irons on how prejudice blinds us to genius

Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons stars opposite Dev Patel in The Man Who Knew Infinity, an inspirational biopic about Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons wants to help make Srinivasa Ramanujan a household name. The Indian mathematician is the subject of The Man Who Knew Infinity, an inspirational biopic about an outsider who revolutionized his field, and whose figures are still being worked on today.

Irons stars as G.H. Hardy, Ramanujan's exacting but committed mentor. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Skins) plays the young mathematician. The unlikely pair find common ground in their love for pure mathematics. 

"Mathematics is the oil to the story but the story is — I think they say these days — a bromance," jokes Irons. "The film really is about the relationship between these two very disparate men." 

Irons joins Shad to discuss the romance of working closely with someone who shares your passion, how new and difficult ideas clash with old fears and values, and why we must search for genius everywhere. 

"Knowledge can come from the most extraordinary places," says Irons. "We don't know where the brilliant people will come from."

Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons stars opposite Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) in an uplifting biopioc about a groundbreaking Indian mathematician. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

WEB EXTRA | Watch a clip from The Man Who Knew Infinity, featuring a heated exchange between Hardy and Ramanujan. 

This interview was originally recorded during the Toronto International Film Festival. The Man Who Knew Infinity opens Friday.


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