Zee5’s series ‘State of Siege 26/11’ will always remain very special for the talented actor Anubhav Krishna Srivastava, who was also seen in popular daily soaps like Pavitra Rishta (Zee TV) and Pyaar Ka Dard Hai… (Star Plus).
Anubhav essayed the role of NSG Commando Kodiwal in the series and shooting for the same has been a thrilling experience for the actor. In an exclusive chat with ItsEZone.com, he shared all about the blood and sweat that has gone behind the making of this series.
Excerpts from the conversation –
The training – The efforts that we had to put in to prepare ourselves for our respective roles were little tiring. We had to grow our muscles to get that look of an NSG Commando. We all underwent through proper training right from holding the guns to firing bullets, under the guidance of Sandeep Sen. He is the NSG Commando who was there in the 26/11 operation. He trained us all about the body language of NSG Commandos and trained us about reloading bullets in the guns. It took us five months to shoot for this series. It was very tough for us to wear those Commando attire and shoot because they were heavy and the weather was hot. A lot of blood and sweat has gone behind the making of this series.
The release and feedback – This series is totally a different one out of all the shows that I have done in my career so far. Though it was immense and tiring but we felt good after seeing the end result of it. We had a huge unit and our Director and the DOP had come from the US. They used to take less number of shots in a day and made sure that they come out perfect. It took a lot of time.
Initially, the series was scheduled to be released on 26th November 2019 but got postponed to 26th January 2020 because we couldn’t complete the shoot and editing on time. Finally it got released on 20th March and soon then the lockdown happened. Therefore, the premier got cancelled. We were upset that we couldn’t even promote our series for which we had worked so hard for months but all’s well that ends well. People liked the series and we got an amazing response from everyone. We had crossed a million mark just in a week.
The Content – It was a challenge for us to show the content differently which is already known to all. The series shows how the Police couldn’t control the situation after which the NSG Commandos were called. It also shows how the Media was giving all the information LIVE and the terrorists were being guided by their masters who were watching the channels in Pakistan. We didn’t focus much on Kasab and we showed the story of Nariman House that no one else did. We centered on Nariman House where the NSG had a major task to do.
NSG Commandos are truly the unsung heroes. They don’t even get any reward. We have tried to show all that the NSG goes through. They don’t get resources and they have to request the government for funds. So this was the whole planning and strategy from the producer that they wanted to show the story from this perspective.
The most amazing experience from the shoot – We had went to the Sarsawa Airport for shooting the plane scene. It is located in the outskirts of Delhi and this is the original place from where the NSG Commandos had left to Mumbai. Its been a memorable experience to shoot in the plane in which the commandos were taken to Mumbai for the operation. Shooting in that plane was immense. It was so huge and humongous. The plane had arrived at the airport at 9 AM and flew back at 10 PM. So, we only had 10 hours to finish shooting.
We traveled from Mumbai to Delhi for the shoot. The airport is basically an airbase which is used for special landings and take-offs during attacks. Mobile phones were not allowed so we were shooting there for 10 hours without any connection with the outer world. It was difficult to get permission to shoot there. Shooting there was a different and a memorable experience. The plane was special so it was quite a different experience for me. I was quite excited and enjoyed the shoot thoroughly.
Shooting inside the Taj – We shot the entire Taj sequence in Tulip Star. Taj didn’t want to relive that moment so we didn’t get the permission to shoot there. It was a challenge for the Art Director to recreate the Taj in Tulip Star which is beside The Trident. Shooting for that part was quite an interesting experience.
It was no less than shooting a film – Shooting for the series was a very challenging task. Our project got delayed a lot. It was supposed to be completed in three months but got stretched for six-seven months. There was huge unit of around 500 people. It was different and a memorable experience for me that I worked in such a major unit. Its not a Film but I say that I did a Film. Hat’s off to the producer and the team of Contiloe. It will remain very close to my heart.
Way to go, Anubhav.
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