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Meghna Gulzar begins work on Calling Sehmat with Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal

The actors are jointly participating in a workshop with the director in preparation for their role in the espionage drama, Calling Sehmat. 

Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal

Shriram Iyengar

Director Meghna Gulzar has kicked off her screen adaptation of Harinder Sikka's book, Calling Sehmat. The film will have Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in the lead roles. The director has started workshops with the actors to help them get under the skin of their characters. The team will have workshops for a couple of weeks before they begin shooting at the end of this month. 

The plot of the film revolves around the story of a Kashmiri woman married to an Army officer across the border, and who provided Indian intelligence agencies with valuable information during the 1972 war. Gulzar, who last directed the critically acclaimed Talvar (2015), has picked up the bestselling novel by Harinder Sikka. 

The workshop is aimed at giving the actors hands-on training for the film. Bhatt is playing the titular role of Sehmat, while Kaushal is playing the character of her husband. The film is set in the backdrop of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan, and will see the actors adopt the Kashmiri dialect and accent to bring in authenticity. 

While Kaushal has already displayed his credentials with performances in Masaan (2015) and Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), Bhatt has slowly started experimenting with character roles since Highway (2015). The actress took on roles like Dear Zindagi (2016) and Udta Punjab (2016) to great critical appreciation. 

Apart from Calling Sehmat, Bhatt is also set to appear in Ayan Mukherjee's Dragon alongside Ranbir Kapoor, and Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy with Ranveer Singh. Kaushal, meanwhile, has completed shooting for Rajkumar Hirani's biopic on Sanjay Dutt.