Actor Anjali Barot has donned the uniform as pilot Mannju Thapliyal for the Disney+ Hotstar series, Shoorveer, releasing on July 15. After the positive reception for the trailer of the show, Anjali recalled how she came on board after a swift audience. She told Hindustan Times, “Amarbir Bajwa was the casting director. He told me ‘I can only imagine you as Mannju’. He asked me to drop by for a screen test. I went to the office and I was confirmed for the part.” Also read: Anjali Barot: It’s difficult to find a place in the industry)
Shoorveer brings together soldiers from across the Air Force, Navya and Army to form a special unit when the nation is under threat. With big powers come big responsibilities. “It was a different high because every time I was wearing the uniform I used to get goosebumps. Suddenly you have the responsibility for what you are portraying; You have a sense of pride. You become equally nervous because you have to portray the character in a certain light. You are representing the country. As actors, we are blessed that we get to experience these multiple lives,” she said about her role.
Anjali rose to fame after her performance in SonyLiv’s acclaimed web series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. Looking back at her career so far, she always wanted to become an actor. “I thought my family’s reaction to my acting career would be crazy. But nothing of that sort happened. They said ‘Wah! Chalo ye acha lagta hai, karo (Do it if you like it). My family is my strength. They get very excited and happy to see my work,” she added.
While Anjali is now among the popular new faces of the OTT platform, her struggle as an actor continues. When asked about her bitter experience during any audition, the actor pointed out, “Recently casting people have started looking into your social media followers. There are genuine casting directors, but, nowadays, a lot of people are getting their roles because of their social media following, which I think is sad, for me and everyone else. People might be great actors but not have so many followers; I still have a decent number of followers. But why should they lose out on opportunities for numbers? This is a bit off but it’s okay, we do have good casting directors who look at the work.”
Movies and films dealing with storylines based on the Indian Armed Forces are often judged and criticised for inaccuracy. But, Anshojali believes Shoorveer is different. “Firstly, this is a fictional show, we have creative liberty. The show has concentrated on relationships between the soldiers, so you will see their stories. It has a very personal touch to it. That’s the beauty of our show. You will not see the same thing again and again. I think the audience will connect with it equally,” she reasoned, days before the release.