Lara Dutta recently accompanied Akshay Kumar to Scotland, where the cast and crew of BellBottom completed a start-to-finish shooting schedule. The actor said that despite travelling and shooting amid the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t daunting as she was accompanied by her daughter Sara, just like Akshay was accompanied by his wife and kids.
Talking about how they all managed to pull it off while keeping safety measures in mind, she said, “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. 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.”
She added that their kids accompanied them to Scotland as the entire team ensured they maintain the security bubble. “It did not feel that we were imprisoned as we had the company of each other. Akshay and Deepshikha had brought their kids and so had I. 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.”
When asked what 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.” About the thrill of returning to work, she said, “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.”
Bell Bottom is written by Aseem Arrora and Parveez Shaikh is set to release on April 2, 2021. It is produced by Jackky Bhagnani and Deepshikha Deshmukh and directed by Ranjit M Tewari. The film stars Akshay in the lead playing of a RAW agent on the trail of a mystery and also stars Huma Qureshi and Vaani Kapoor.
Follow @htshowbiz for more