Vivek Dahiya plays captain Rohit Bagga in State of Siege: 26/11.
State of Siege: 26/11 on ZEE5 has been garnering rave reviews. While Arjun Bijlani and Arjan Bajwa play commanding officers, Vivek Dahiya is seen playing captain Rohit Bagga, the NSG soldier who led the team which took on terrorists in Nariman House during 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Most actors want to make their digital debut with a power-packed performance but for Dahiya, this show was more of an emotional decision. "It is not that I had pre-planned it but the show appealed to me the moment I read the script. Also, I will be honest, I don't even have too much screen space in the show. If I had calculated it as a career move, it would have been a disaster (laughs). What really mattered to me was that I wanted to be a part of the project, that somewhere affected every Indian," he shared in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com.
Dahiya added, "Honestly, it was actually quite an emotional decision. Somebody recently asked me whether I have become too secure, and not worried about sharing screen space with so many others. I just want to say that I am still in the initial stage of my career. And I would be very much concerned about these things when I do my next fiction show. However, State of Siege, as I told you, has a connect with every one of us. I was in the UK studying when the attacks happened, and I felt so much rage and angst against these terrorists. They were young kids and maybe didn't even understand what they did. So when the makers called me, I didn't even discuss much and said an instant yes as I was emotionally drawn towards it."
Talking about his role, the actor shared, "I am playing captain Rohit Bagga. He was the youngest, in terms of age and ranking among the primary officers. He was actually on a personal leave to introduce his girlfriend to his family. While having dinner with them, he heard the news and rushed back. The captain was upbeat, charged and aggressive and asked his seniors to let him lead. Seeing his passion, he was allowed to handle the operation and eventually he emerged victorious."
"Coming to the preparation, it was more about the mental transformation. These soldiers are quick and have a different kind of thought process. Thankfully we had Lt Colonel Sundeep Sen on set with us. He was part of the operation of 26/11 and shared his real time stories, which really helped us get into the skin of the characters," added Vivek Dahiya.
Lastly sharing his family and wife Divyanka Tripathi's reaction on seeing him in uniform, the 35-year-old said, "They loved it and were really excited about my look. Even I was very happy to don the uniform and was sending them pictures from the trial itself. It was also quite an emotional moment given that my grandfather was in the army and Divyanka was an NCC cadet. It was a proud moment for all of us and quite a milestone for me as an actor. You rarely get a chance to play a soldier, especially black cat. It was a big opportunity for me to play a real life hero."
State of Siege: 26/11 has been directed by Matthew Leutwyler.