Months after it was reported that Vicky Kaushal would play the leading man in debutant director Aditya Dhar’s upcoming venture, Uri, comes news that Kirti Kulhari has been roped in for a crucial part in the film. Kulhari will slip into the role of an army pilot for the Ronnie Screwvala production, which, as the name suggests, revolves around the events that transpired after the 2016 Uri attack.

Although essaying a small role, Kirti Kulhari is undergoing a significant amount of prep work for the film. “The story will chronicle the events that transpired in my character’s life which led to her appointment in the defence force. My character plays a crucial role in the surgical strikes. The Uri attacks were an important chapter in our history, and I knew I had to be part of this project when the casting director approached me two weeks ago.

Kulhari will not only learn how to use a pistol, but also train with army men before her schedule rolls. “Apart from learning how to shoot with a pistol, I will also be taught how to operate a chopper. I don’t have enough time to learn to fly, but I will understand the basics.”

Belonging to a family that served in the forces — “My father was in the navy, my sister is in the Army,” Kulhari says — the actor will also pick up a lesson or two from them. “I also plan to train for 10 days with Army men in Colaba. I hope to understand their daily schedule, apart from getting an insight into the way they think.”

In September 2016, 19 soldiers were killed in an attack by militants in an army camp. Eleven days later, the Indian government revealed that they had conducted surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which led to the death of an estimated 38 terrorists. The film is reportedly based on the events that transpired in those 11 days. Kaushal plays the role of the commander-in-chief leading the operation, and also underwent training.