TV star Vivek Dahiya is all set to make his digital debut with ZEE5 Original State of Siege: 26/11, wherein he plays an NSG commando. The web series, based on Sandip Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11, is a retelling of the infamous 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the NSG’s perspective.
At the January 2020 calendar launch event of Zee5, Vivek revealed as to why he decided to be a part of State of Siege: 26/11 and what went into the preparation of his character.
"I literally pounced on it. I always dreamt about playing an Army official of some sort. The moment I got a call for this show, I immediately agreed. I was offered a couple of web series earlier but State of Siege: 26/11 is based on a one-of-a-kind event, it was a great deal, unfortunate, but it is what it is. It's set in a very real space. There were no artificial lights used. Everything was shot in natural light," Vivek said.
The terrorists targeted five prominent places of Mumbai -- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.
"So far, we only have content made either on The Taj Mahal Palace or The Oberoi, but this show is going to cover all the locations for the first time. I play the role of Captain Rohit Bagga, an NSG commando. My character is based on Mohit Dhingra, who was heading the operation at Jawahar House during the attacks. Working with Colonel Sen who trained us and was also a part of Operation Black Tornado, was incredible. So, it gives me goosebumps to think about everything the NSGs went through and the challenges and obstacles they faced during the attacks," Vivek added.
Co-created and helmed by American director Matthew Leutwyler, State of Siege: 26/11 provides a first-hand account of the 26/11 tragedy and highlights many facts hitherto unknown to us.
"It is worth mentioning that the show has been directed by a Hollywood director. The reason why it's important because the series adopts a completely neutral approach. It's been shot from a completely different lens. There was no bias with regards to the interpretation of the book," Vivek added.
The show has been shot in multiple real locations to recreate the events of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The team also took special permissions to shoot at a secluded defence base where the NSG commandos had gathered before boarding an aircraft (IL-76) to Mumbai. They also secured special permissions to shoot in IL–76.
Talking about the same, Vivek said, "IL-76 was the aircraft that had come from Haryana to drop off the NSG commandos during the attacks. The same plane has been used in State of Siege: 26/11. I couldn’t be a part of that sequence though. I was supposed to shoot on that plane, too, but I wasn’t available then so it couldn't happen."