Rohit Shetty to make OTT debut with Mission Frontline

Rohit Shetty makes his OTT debut with Mission Frontline. Photo: Universal Communications.


The new Discovery+ Original, Mission Frontline, which has already starred names like Rana Daggubati and Sara Ali Khan last year and has Farhan Akhtar in the next, features Rohit Shetty.

For the action and comedy director, who also hosts Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi on Aapka Colors, this is his first foray into the OTT space. Shetty has also been involved as producer in some films and the TV show Little Singham and as executive producer of the TV show Golmaal Jr..

This show is a peep into India’s brave warriors and during a Zoom press January 17, he said, “Apart from me, everybody was a real member of the Special Operations group. They were real army commandos, and the vehicles, weapons, even the terrain (in Kashmir) and uniforms were all real! I just had to go there and live their life for a day! I saw and felt what they had to go through in that short period, for they are doing it all the time. When Discovery+ offered me this chance, I knew I had to do it!”

He added, “From the time of Singham 11 years ago, my association with real cops has led to a deep relationship and identification through Singham Returns, Simmba and Sooryavanshi. But my films were fiction, this one is not! And for the whole team, it was no cakewalk. It was not easy to get permissions, go on recces and keep all current protocols too in mind. Then there was the cold in Srinagar!”

Grinning, he went on, “I term it an honor, a kind of lifetime achievement, and I have kept all the photos ready! To know how these people function is an experience, and I also saw that what we showed in films, the kind of ammunition and the interrogation chambers, were all there in real life. And it was a life-changing experience. You feel proud to be an Indian! ”

On a lighter note, he quips, “After all my films and my bonding with real cops, there is a joke going around that after 20 years, someone will find I was working undercover for them!”

Shetty stressed that these forces are very different from the actual army personnel. “They are mostly local people, and everything about them, their uniforms and their approach, is different from that of the Army! Their stories were incredible. The senior commando who was training me was a cop serving from the 1990s, whose officer father had been killed by terrorists. He is a decorated cop now, and he decided not to be an engineer that he had always wanted to be, after his father’s death. He now wanted to serve the nation! Others had lost their friends, but none of them knew fear and all wanted to be in the force!”

From where does Shetty’s own adventurous streak come, asked the media meet host. “I don’t know where it started, but whenever I have come out of my comfort zone to do something, I have always been successful. I have never feared anything, and at the back of my mind, I knew that I will learn something—every moment will be a learning experience!—and I will finally be a success.” For those who came in late, however, Rohit is the son of the late legendary stunt coordinator and actor, Shetty.

This reporter asked him whether the stories he heard and the experiences he had during the making of this show will be used as a part of his films to come, including Singham 3.

For some reason, the host thought of this as a fun question (!!), but Shetty replied, “I can’t say. I am always upgrading myself as a storyteller and director, but then my next film Singham 3 is about Ajay Devgn sir!” (Incidentally, there was a hint in Sooryavanshi that the main villain and Singham would soon confront each other—in Kashmir!)

Rohit stated that there was a difference between being behind-the-scenes as director and going in front of the camera. “The director in you does tend to pop up and make suggestions about shots!” he grins. “I think it is for the good too.”

Rohit explained that every work is an experience and one should not be demoralized if thing so wrong. “Things always go wrong, and you get disturbed when that happens. But you have to set it right!”

And then he unravels what might be the secret of his success: “In these days of social media, don’t wait for validation from other people. Always have faith in yourself, do what your heart says. Set a goal and work on that. Listen only to the right and important people, like your parents, or those who will correct you if you go wrong. Just work, fall, get up again and you will succeed.”





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