Raaj Singh Arora gets candid about role in Great Indian Escape - Khule Aasaman Ki Oar
Actor Raaj Singh Arora, who is part of the Great Indian Escape - Khule Aasaman Ki Oar', loves being part of the project. Talking about his role, he says, "I am playing the role of Flight Lieutenant MS Grewal who was then a flight lieutenant and now is a retired commander. He has been awarded by the AVS Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and is a decorated Air Force pilot."
There was a lot of groundwork that was put into the project. "The preparation was that before making the film, the director had interviewed everyone involved. He was trying to make a documentary so he had gone and stayed with each of the pilots for 6 days. We had 6 days of footage of each pilot and how they escaped and how they got stuck in Pakistan and what all happened. So there are 16 narrations to the same story, confirming all the points," he says.
He adds, "MS Grewal talked a lot about the whole situation, of how they planned, how they put it into action, what were their fear and how they thought they could have got killed as it was Pakistan."
Ask him if he made any changes in his physique for the film, and he says, "If we think rationally, an actor always has to be fit, you never know what kind of film you get to do. For this film, there was an expensive training that was needed, not because we had to show some fighting sequence but because we had to look like pilots. Pilots, if you see, are not fighters, they are not soldiers, they are basically people who know how to fly a plain. They don't have six pack abs as it is not required at their post. They need to be fitter and not shred or slim. The kind of training we had is that we had to be fit and not some ripped, shredded body. There was a lot of things we worked on like our language, the terminology which pilots use."
Talking about the future plans, Raaj says, "I think I would like to do roles which I can really do justice to, negative or positive really doesn't matter. I have done a positive role un this film and I have been critically awarded for a villain's role in the film "W". There's nothing like a positive or a negative role, it's the kind of a person you have to be and portray. As far as positive or negative is concerned, it all depends on the justification of the audience, some people relate to certain characters."
Talking about the shoot, he says, "We have shot in Mumbai, Leh Ladakh, and Gujarat, then we went to the Pune Air Force station and observed how the officers live their lives. While we were shooting in Leh Ladakh, it was a restricted area and so we were not allowed to use drones, it was for a very short time. We did a lot of gorilla shoot. We had to get special shooting permissions. We were in a restricted area and we knew if we don't get this particular shot properly, we won't get to do again so we were rehearsing and giving our shots. We met a couple of people who were protesting against the rights of Jammu and Kashmir people, there was a camp in Leh Ladakh. They came to know that we were shooting for an Air Force-based film. I got into a heated discussion with one of them. When we met all the soldiers it was different kind of patriotism we felt and we show it in the film also."