Many films and web series that were on the floors or in various stages of planning are now in a mess due to the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown. However, Bollywood does not seem to be in a hurry to get back to work — with the film workers’ needs being taken care of by the efforts of many actors and filmmakers — the industry is enjoying the lull before work begins again.
The fact of the matter is that actors now are refusing to even reach the airport – forget travel. Casting director Kunal M Shah explains, “We are not even talking about the big stars. Even smaller actors are getting scared of the word ‘airport’ if we ask them when they can start shooting. We are doing self-auditions via WhatsApp and meetings via Facetime and Skype for upcoming projects with actors. A known actress even asked me if I was mad to work now; the reason is that no one here knows what their dates are going to be and when the lockdown is really going to end and when will they actually end up working safely. Safety is of the topmost priority here.”
Big filmmakers are also not really thinking of work, even if they have over a half a dozen projects in limbo. “A filmmaker like Karan Johar has around seven projects which got stuck in various stages of development – be it the shootings of the multistarrer Takht, Brahmastra, or the untitled Shakun Batra directorial starring Deepika Padukone, which was to go on the floors in March. Madhuri Dixit’s digital project known as The Heroine or The Actress, also starring Sanjay Kapoor and Mohit Raina, was also slated to begin. Films slated for release like Sooryavanshi, Gunjan Saxena — The Kargil Girl and Dostana 2, all in various stages of post-production, have been postponed as no one is discussing work. They are just waiting calmly for this to end so that they can approach work at one go,” says a trade source.
Meanwhile, actress Diana Penty says that we should not be thinking about money, but human life. “At the moment, loss is secondary. What the government is doing is a partial lockdown where people need to distance themselves. It is important that we can contain the situation before it gets out of hand," she notes....