Mumbai, Feb 18: Veteran director Mahesh Manjrekar who has directed the upcoming war drama series, 1962: The War In The Hills, says collaborating with international action director Don Lee has taken the show to the next level. Lee has directed stunts in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and Star Trek Beyond, among other global hits.
Manjrekar’s series is inspired by the 1962 Indo-China war, and showcases how 125 Indian soldiers valiantly fought over 3000 Chinese soldiers at Rezang La and Galwan Valley.
“Don used to write a story of what we were going to shoot, and choreographed it well in advance, which worked fantastically for me. It became easier, and the climax that he shot was brilliant. Don was absolutely prepared but at the same time open to suggestions because he was working on a terrain which was alien to him,” said Manjrekar.
The filmmaker recalled: “On the fifth day of shoot Don started eating spicy food and with his hands during lunchtime. He used to ask me, ‘Kya banaya hai’! We shot in different locations and he knew all the food places in Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. He knew these two or three hotels and would say, ‘I am going there to eat’. We became friends and that’s why it was easier working with him. Don loves to eat fish and had even asked me if he could take some home because he wanted his mom to taste it. Our good relationship made working together easier and I miss him sometimes. I really want him to come down and do another film with me. Don was a fantastic asset to the show.”
The series has been shot in the higher terrains of Ladakh and remote villages across India, and it features Abhay Deol, Akash Thosar, Sumeet Vyas, Rohan Gandotra, Annup Sonii, Meiyang Chang, Mahie Gill, Rochelle Rao, and Hemal Ingle among others.
1962: The War In The Hills, a 10-episode series, streams on Disney+ Hotstar VIP and Disney+ Hotstar Premium from February 26.