In a candid conversation with Outlook, actor Kiara Advani talks about playing Dimple Cheema in the upcoming film, ‘Shershaah’, and her experience of meeting Cheema in real life. She also talks about being aware of the responsibility that comes along with a role like this. Excerpts from the interview:
What is it that you liked about the script of ‘Shershaah’?
The beauty of the film is that ‘Shershaah’ is a real-life story of a war hero and how it narrates the other side of his life. It shows that he also had a family, passion, a girlfriend and that’s what makes the film relatable. The life that he had with his fiancée is an integral part of Captain Vikram Batra’s life and that’s what made me do the film. Every officer in the armed forces has an army behind him at home and in this story of Captain Batra it was Dimple Cheema.
How did you prepare for the role?
Fortunately, I got to meet Dimple which helped me understand her emotional journey. I met her in Chandigarh before shooting the film. There was so much love in her eyes when she was narrating her story to me. I found her very inspiring and also, kudos to Vishnu Vardhan, the director of ‘Shershaah’ and the entire production team because the entire shoot was done in all real locations where the Kargil war and other parts of Captain Batra’s life took place. There was an energy in the air and we never felt like we were performing. Not just me, every single person who has been a part of the film wants to tell the story. It’s been an emotional film for all of us. And all the characters in the film have been portrayed very authentically and beautifully. Other than shooting it in real locations, most of the dialogues are true to the real story. ‘Shershaah’ is a film that recreates what has actually happened. So, I tried my best to be very honest and real to the character that I played. When you play a real-life person there is a lot of responsibility that goes behind it and so I have been as authentic as possible to the role of Dimple.
What was your first meeting with the real Dimple like?
I feel lucky that she shared their story with me. She is a very strong woman because she chose to love her man beyond his lifetime. Dimple’s story really moved me and it was through her that I saw the personality of Captain Batra, the love of her life and getting to know the strong woman behind the man was a pleasure for me. I feel really honoured to play her part in the film. She is today’s woman who has made her own choices in life. She fought for love. It is probably the most intriguing part of the story because everybody knows about Captain Batra, but not many people know much about her.
What is your best scene from the film?
The last scene where the last rites of Captain Batra is being performed. We shot that in the same location where it took place in real life.