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Ashwath Bhatt on Mission Majnu: I play a real-life military dictator in the film

Ahead of Mission Majnu’s Netflix premiere on January 20, actor Ashwath Bhatt talks about his role in the Shantanu Bagchi directorial, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna

Ashwath Bhatt on Mission Majnu: I play a real-life military dictator in the film
Ashwath Bhatt (image credit: Armaan Gupta) plays a military character in Mission Majnu, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna
  • Reema Gowalla

Last Updated: 05.01 AM, Jan 10, 2023

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Although he deliberately chooses to perform different characters every time, be it on stage or screen, actor Ashwath Bhatt seems to have a thing for bringing alive characters inspired by people from the bygone era. While his play on Saadat Hasan Manto has been widely acclaimed for years, he has also essayed memorable characters in films like Raazi, Kesari and Haider. The recently released trailer of the much-awaited spy thriller Mission Majnu served up glimpses of Ashwath’s latest avatar on screen, which, he says, is inspired by a real-life personality from recent history. Slated to be released on Netflix on January 20, the Shantanu Bagchi directorial features Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna in lead roles.  

“I am playing the character of a decorated military general, who is also remembered in history - particularly in South Asia - as an oppressor. Although I have essayed roles in the past that draw heavily from historical figures, this time it’s a real-life character that I am playing. It was a fabulous experience working with Shantanu sir and the rest of the cast, many of whom I have also previously shared screen with,” says Ashwath, adding, “Although I can’t reveal much about my part in the movie before its release, I must say that it’s one of the toughest roles I have played in my career so far. A lot of research and hard work has gone into building this character, especially to get the look and tonality right. I am quite excited to see how the audience will respond to my performance in the film.” 

Ashwath Bhatt is a military general in the film
Ashwath Bhatt is a military general in the film

The plot revolves around what is said to be one of the most significant covert operations in Indian history, which unfolded after the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971. Mission Majnu was initially scheduled for a theatrical release in May last year, which then got pushed to June 2022. And now, it’s finally premiering on Netflix. “We began shooting for the film before the pandemic (in February 2020), then I shot a few scenes in early 2022 as well. Shantanu sir is a senior filmmaker, who knows his craft well. Working with him was an interesting learning experience for me,” says Ashwath. 

A National School of Drama graduate, Ashwath has also played notable roles in web series like Cartel and Mira Nair’s Leila. In 2022, the actor made his Telugu debut with Sita Ramam. Currently shooting for Shivam Nair’s The Diplomat, the story of which is based on Uzma Ahmed’s return to India, Ashwath will also be seen in The Ghazi Attack director Sankalp Reddy’s upcoming film IB71

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