Former Miss Universe and actress Lara Dutta, who is currently shooting for the spy thriller ‘Bellbottom’, recalled her safe encounter of working during the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland, saying it was a surreal experience.
On how it was like to shoot in this kind of environment, Lara said, “It was a surreal experience and I hope this is not going to be the new normal. I felt immense gratitude towards Pooja entertainment and every member of the crew for taking such good care of us. We have done some good work and am excited to see how the film turns out.”
The 42-year-old actress recounts how the challenges during this unusual time were dealt with professionalism and personal attention.
“Initially, it was normal to feel a little anxious considering that Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly in India. But I felt immediate reassurance and confidence when I saw the many protocols in place and how correctly things were being handled. Ours was the first film to be shot after the lockdown but despite the nervousness, we were all eager to get back to work,” says Lara.
“We were all taken in a chartered flight to Scotland to retain and contain the safety bubble. On landing, we were tested again and sent into a two-week quarantine. It did not however feel that we were imprisoned as we had the company of each other. Akshay and Deepshikha had brought their kids and so had I,” she said.
“It was like being with an extended family and since all of us had tested negative, we spent time with each other and kept the circle tight and safe for each other and especially the children. So this gave me a sense of security,” says the actress.
On how thrilled she was to return to work, Lara says, “When the shooting finally began, I was the first actor on the sets. To be part of the first film to be shot after the lockdown felt hugely gratifying. I felt grateful to be on a set where every single precaution possible was being taken, sanitisation was meticulous and the cast and crew were checked every day.”
“Everything was secure, right from the food delivery on sets to the drivers who took us to and fro. Yes, we had to remove our masks during scenes but because we felt safe in a strictly regulated environment, we just wanted to do our job to the best of our abilities,” adds Lara.
Directed by Ranjit M Tewari and written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh, the
Pooja Entertainment flick becomes the first movie to start shooting during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starring Akshay Kumar, Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi in the lead roles, ‘Bellbottom’ is produced by Jackky Bhagnani and Deepshikha Deshmukh.
The film is slated to release on April 2, 2021.