Addinath Kothare: We have to embrace the new normal, with proper precautions

This year was supposed to be a big one for Addinath M Kothare. The actor was to make his directorial debut and Bollywood acting debut, with ‘Paani’ and ’83’ respectively. However, the COVID-19 pandemic had different plans in store. In fact, Addinath was shooting for a web series when the lockdown was announced, and that too was put on hold. So, for those of you crushing on his beard and man-bun, you have the shoot continuity to thank. “We have four days of shoot pending! Since my getup is such in the project, I have to retain this look till we restart shooting,” laughs Addinath.

But the actor-director did get a chance to resume work, for other projects. Recently, he and his family, including wife Urmilla, dad Mahesh, mother Neelima and daughter Jiza, travelled to Kolhapur for the mahurat of their TV production ‘Dakkhancha Raja Jyotiba’. Addinath also faced the camera after a long time for an awards show, and he says the experience was liberating. “After the lockdown, life is slowly getting back on track and I am happy, not just because I got to get back to work, but also because the livelihood of so many people associated with the entertainment industry is restarting. We are all gradually getting used to the new normal,” he says.

With talks of ’83’ and ‘Sooryavanshi’ getting a theatrical release having been happening, we ask Addinath if he’s excited about returning to a cinema hall and he replies, “Nothing can replace the big screen experience! Both ’83’ and ‘Sooryavanshi’ are made for the big screen. So, we are looking forward. But before that I hope things become normal. ‘Sooryavanshi’ has a tentative Diwali release. If all goes well for them, all will be well for ’83’ as well. I hope a miracle happens and theatres open soon.” Addinath also feels that when it’s safe to do so, people will go to cinema halls. Speaking about his thoughts on the #SaveCinema movement that has gathered momentum online, he says, “Shoots have started, with proper safety measures. People are venturing out of their homes. So, eventually, cinema halls will resume functions, of course with new SOPs in place.”

And will he be waiting for a theatrical release for his debut directorial, ‘Paani’, as well? “Yes, ‘Paani’ will have a theatrical release. We all have put a lot of efforts into the film and we want people to watch it on the big screen to truly enjoy it,” he says.

In the recent past, many of Addinath’s peers from the Marathi industry have tested positive for COVID-19. Will that deter people from taking up work? “I don’t think so. We have to understand that sooner or later we have to resume work. Also, at some point, we all are probably going to get infected. So, all we can do is take precautions and build our immunity to prevent that. Right now, the sentiment among many people, especially those who have lost their source of income, is that they are willing to take the risk of stepping out for work, rather than sitting at home and dying of unemployment and hunger. We need to embrace the new normal, taking the right precautions.”