Ever since Aditya Dhar's directorial debut Uri: The Surgical Strike released on 11th January 2019, it seems like whoever stepped out of the theatre could not stop from gushing over it. Surpassing all box-office records, the film earned more than Rs 100 crores and outperformed several blockbuster hits like Sanju, Padmaavat and Simmba. Even after several weeks, it continues to remain the most sought-after movie.
The movie was considered to be a fitting tribute to the Indian Army, owing to its spectacular cinematography and direction. While Vicky Kaushal, who played the role of Major Vihan Shergill, took everyone's breath away with his outstanding performance, there was another man who, despite having a supporting role in the movie, managed to impress everyone.
Before marking his Bollywood debut in Uri, Mohit Raina was popularly known for his role as Mahadev in Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev. In a recent interview, he shared his journey from the small to the big screen and how it has been nothing less than a dream for him.
Mohit was super confident that Uri would hit the right chord with the audience from the very beginning. He was in Gujarat when he first read about Uri in the newspaper and fortunately, got a call to be a part of the film just a month later. When he met the team, he realised that the film was being made on a large scale in terms of research and people who were involved. He said, "I was very sure that Uri will be accepted beautifully. We all have that patriotic chord in us but aren't aware of. We love our nation so much but we are not in a capacity to show it in a certain manner."
After signing the film, he had undergone intense training, where he had to shed a few kilos for his character, Captain Karan Kashyap.
On being asked what made him choose a supporting role in Uri over opportunities to play the lead in other movies, he confessed that if he had double the screen space in any other film, it would not have created the same impact. He realised that the audience has changed in the last few years, and so has their taste in movies. Since, for them, content and story works as the 'first priority', he wanted to mould himself and give them something they really wanted at that point of time.
Hailing from Jammu, Mohit felt strongly for the country and how our armed forces dealt with the issue of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. He grew up around the Indian Army which was a 'pillar of strength' in difficult times. In fact, at the age of three, he had even decided to join the army, but ended up becoming an actor, instead. On being asked why he couldn't make the cut, he explained, "I missed out because I am short-sighted. But life has come a full circle and with this film, I return to the Valley as an Army Officer during the Uri attack."
He admitted that he wanted to be a part of the movie, at any cost. "Not just for a Kashmiri, it's an emotional subject for most Indians as we are a patriotic lot and empathise with those serving at the border," he expressed.
For Mohit, it wasn't just any supporting role in a Bollywood movie. It was the closest he could come to living his dream of serving in the Indian Army.
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