Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was one of the masterminds behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. To play a character like that is not easy, but actor Mukul Dev has done a commendable job and the audience reactions are proof of it.
The story on State of Siege: 26/11 revolves around the horrifying terror attacks that took place in Mumbai in November 2008. Not much was spoken or written about Lakhvi until Sandeep Unnithan did an in depth research on the whole incident and wrote a book ‘Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11’, to which the show has been adapted.
Mukul’s looks and vocabulary are one of the key things loved by the audience, and when asked about it he said, “Lakhvi’s screen presence is mostly confined to the four walls of the control room and that’s what challenged me to bring this character to life. While I was doing my research, I distinctly remembered the voice of the man who was giving instructions to the terrorists in Mumbai. He had a rough voice with an accent. Being Punjabi it wasn’t difficult for me to get the lingo, but the task was to portray him with the same attitude & mannerism as a Pashto would. Getting down to every nitty-gritty of the character, from an eyebrow twitch to the way he drank his chai! The whole process challenged me as an actor.”
Starring Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani, Vivek Dahiya, Mukul Dev, Sid Makkar, Tara Alisha Berry, Khalida Jaan, Jyoti Gauba, Shoaib Kabeer, Roshni Sahota, Suzanne Bernert, Naren Kumar and Jason Shah, the show is directed by Matthew Leutwyler, produced by Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Pictures and is currently streaming on ZEE5.