Telugu star Adivi Sesh, who will make his foray in Bollywood with Major, a Hindi-Telugu bilingual directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka, feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the subject of his film — (late) Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who sacrificed his life in the line of duty during the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.
Right from training at a boot camp and physical transformation, to thoroughly studying the material the officer’s parents have lovingly preserved at their Bengaluru residence, the actor pulled out all stops to get into the skin of the part he is playing. His first look as the heroic officer will be unveiled today. Talking about the film and his role, Adivi Sesh says, “When we were attending the 10-year memorial event of 26/11 in Mumbai in 2018, I saw a banner that was dedicated to Major Unnikrishnan, which we have replicated in the film, too. It struck me then that the character we were developing on paper was real. The incident was real, and so was the ultimate sacrifice. These things make you more vigilant towards a bigger responsibility to not only play the part correctly but to also not lose focus of what you set out to do. The 26/11 incident forms a highlight of the narrative, but the idea is to show the world the kind of person he was as a son, a friend, a colleague, and a soldier.”
The actor adds, “We have about 35 percent of the film left to shoot, and I can’t wait to get back on set. The one thing that will stay with me, long after I have completed this film, is the thought that — what does it take to be a true patriot? We were shooting in the last village on the Indo-China border, where the temperature would drop to -15 degrees at night. I realized that maybe I could get a heater for myself, but these officers have to brave so much to protect millions of people in this country. There is something a soldier has that makes him want to protect people while facing extreme discomfort. It’s a sentiment that I would love to comprehend, but I have not been able to do so yet. I hope I can by the end of this film.”