Actor Ishaan Khatter says playing a real-life war hero in the upcoming movie Pippa so early on in his career was a transforming experience. Billed as a heroic tank battle, the film underscores the bravery of Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta (Ishaan), a veteran of the 45th Cavalry tank squadron, who, along with his siblings, fought on the eastern front during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. Ishaan, known for Beyond the Clouds and Dhadak, said he is elated to play an Indian Army officer who was his age at that point of time.

“Pippa certainly has been a transforming, different experience for me. It is in that kind of zone that is not being explored by young actors. It is interesting because that is just the age that the gentleman I am portraying, who is a real-life brigadier, was then a young captain,” the 26-year-old actor told PTI.

Also Read | Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ishaan Khattar say they were promised Phone Bhoot will be a big film: ‘Don’t know where they spent the budget’

Directed by Raja Krishna Menon of Airlift fame, the movie is based on Brigadier Mehta’s book The Burning Chaffees. Its title is taken from the Russian amphibious war tank called the PT-76, popularly known as Pippa, which was used in the 1971 War.

Mrunal Thakur, Priyanshu Painyuli and Soni Razdan round out the cast of the film. Backed by producers Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, Pippa will hit the screens on December 2.

There are reports that Ishaan will collaborate with Udta Punjab director Abhishek Chaubey for a biopic on legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand. While the actor didn’t confirm his casting, he said working with Chaubey is on his wish list.“I have a list of directors with whom I hope to work sooner or later. Abhishek Chaubey sir is definitely on that list. I am open to working with people who I may not know yet, who may have a great idea and become the next greatest filmmaker,” he added.

Ishaan will next be seen in Phone Bhoot, also starring Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi. The horror comedy is directed by Gurmmeet Singh (Mirzapur) and produced by Excel Entertainment. Phone Bhoot is set to be released in theatres on November 4.