Lara Dutta on wrapping up Bell Bottom amid the pandemic Lara Dutta (Photo by SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images)
While several actors and filmmakers are still skeptical about getting back to work, Bollywood actress Lara Dutta has completed shooting for an entire film amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
The former Miss Universe essays a pivotal role in the forthcoming Hindi film Bell Bottom, co-starring Akshay Kumar, Vaani Kapoor, and Huma Qureshi. The spy thriller recently wrapped up the entire shoot in a start-to-finish schedule, becoming the first Hindi film to complete the shoot amid the pandemic.
Sharing her experience of shooting Bell Bottom in the time of the pandemic, Dutta says, “Initially, it was normal to feel a little anxious considering that Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly in India. But I was reassured to see all protocols in place. 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 took a chartered flight to Scotland.”
Helmed by Ranjit M Tewari, Bell Bottom has been produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, and Deepshikha Deshmukh of Pooja Entertainment in association with Nikkhil Advani’s Emmay Entertainment.
Talking about the efforts that the producers put in to ensure a smooth shooting process, the actress adds, “The entire unit was tested in Mumbai and after landing, we were tested again and sent into a two-week quarantine. As we were all together, it did not feel that we were imprisoned. Akshay and Deepshikha had brought their kids and so had I. So, we all spent time together, kept the circle tight and safe for each other and the children. It gave me a sense of security.”
When asked how did it feel to face the camera again after months, Lara says, “When shooting finally began, I was the first actor on the sets. 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 slated for its theatrical release on April 2, 2021.