Actor Pranay Pachauri plays the role of rifleman Yashpaul Sharma, the youngest member of Captain Vikram Batra’s team, in the biopic ‘Shershaah’ released recently. The actor recalls training with NSG commandos for the film.
The actor marked his acting debut in the digital space with ‘Time Out’ and went on to do ‘Tere liye bro’, ‘Trip 2’, ‘Tathaastu’, and many other web series.
Talking about bagging the role in ‘Shershaah’, Pranay said, “Well it was pretty much an audition that bagged me the role. I got a call from Jogi, the casting director, he wanted me to audition for the role of Yashpaul Sharma. Two weeks later I was locked for the role.”
“I didn’t know how to react as doing an army film was always on the cards but doing an army film with Dharma Productions that too on the legendary Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra was unexpected yet at the same time such a thrilling project to be a part of.”
Parnay and other actors got their training from actual Army officers for the film.
Talking about the intense training, he said, “We had to shoot at 12,000-13,000 feet in Kargil and for that, we had to be mentally and physically fit. We were trained for a month with NSG commandos, so you can understand the level at which we were trained, from 4 am to 9 am we were at it, working on our physical strength to our mental strength.”
“From learning how to dismantle, clean, and reassemble our rifles to all the sign languages used to communicate actions. We were trained to be lethal, stealthy, trained to fight which helped us get into the skin of our characters.”
Mentally, the actor did a lot of preparation to be in the skin of the character.
“I have a lot of friends from an Army background, a lot of friends in the Army now. I’ve spoken to them at length about the stories of the Kargil war to help me build a world inside my head. What really helped us was interacting and hanging out with jawans on set and hearing their stories, their experiences, and just how they are as people. The two high-ranking Army officers were on the set to guide us. They were extremely helpful and insightful which in turn helped us build our body language, psyche, and characters,” he said.
As Pranay plays the role of the most crucial frontline warrior of Captain Vikram Batra, played by Siddharth Malhotra, the actors shared a bond on the sets of the film.
Talking about his co-actor Siddharth, Pranay said, “He was extremely professional and we all bonded like school kids, pulling each other’s leg, sharing stories, laughing at the silliest of jokes but it all resulted in an amazing camaraderie on set. We all did our own stunts at the most extreme terrain. Sid used to make sure all of us were in the best of health and spirits. We all spent two months in Kargil shooting and by the end of it we were all buddies.”
Pranay has interesting projects in his kitty like ‘Crash Course’, ‘Kingmaker’ and ‘Guilty Minds’.