Shiv Panditt: Shooting in Kargil changed me from within

Starting his career in television as a sports anchor, Shiv Panditt got noticed in Bollywood with the film 'Shaitan' in 2011.

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Starting his career in television as a sports anchor, Shiv Panditt got noticed in Bollywood with the film ‘Shaitan’ in 2011. Even though he appeared in selective projects over the years, his character of Captain Sanjeev Jamwal in the recent film ‘Shershaah’ is receiving praise from critics and audiences alike.

Shiv shares how the film changed him as an actor.

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“Becoming part of a film like ‘Shershaah’ and wearing the uniform of the Indian Army for a film is a dream for any actor, and I was no exception to that. But bagging the role in a film and getting the visibility, especially when you know that the main focus of the story is on the title character played by Sidharth Malhotra, was only possible because of two people, our casting director Jogi Malang and of course our director Vishnuvardhan. They really changed the game for all of us actors,” Shiv said.

The story of the film ‘Shershaah’ revolves around the journey of war hero and Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra and the 1999 Kargil war in which Batra attained martyrdom in the battlefield.

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A major part of the film was shot in Kargil, Ladakh, Kashmir Valley and it also features Kiara Advani, Sahil Vaid, Raj Arjun, Pawan Chopra, among others.

Highlighting his shooting experience under the extreme weather condition of Kargil, Shiv said, “It was quite a tough shoot but we managed to do everything because Vishnu sir and his team worked hard on the pre-production. Before we started rolling, we were on the same page and already visualised the film. Also, even though Sidharth is a Bollywood star, there was no ego and there was a genuine sense of brotherhood among us. Since I was playing Captain Sanjeev Jamwal, who is a Colonel now, I was concerned about how he would react to my portrayal of him onscreen.

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“Since Major Rahul Jamwal was our Army consultant for the film, all of us had huge learning lessons on every nuance to play an Army officer. Thankfully, the Indian Army gave a thumbs up to our film as well as the common audience. That is a victory for us.”

Shiv, who started his career with TV sitcom ‘FIR’, and hosting for ‘Extraaa Innings T20’, also appeared in Netflix web series like ‘Selection Day’, ‘Love Lust & Confusion – Season 2’, ‘The Chargesheet: Innocent or Guilty?’, ‘Chakravyuh – An Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller’, among others.

Asked about his upcoming projects and Shiv said, “I have two feature films and a web series in the process but everything is under wraps. I cannot really talk about it elaborately unless the makers are making the official announcement. Keeping my finger crossed for the release.”

‘Shershaah’ is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

–By Arundhuti Banerjee

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