In March, Pooja Hegde returned to India from Georgia where she was filming with Prabhas for their period love story, ‘Radhe Shyam’. The schedule was cut short after a three-day shoot in Tbilisi owing to the coronavirus-triggered pandemic. Six months later, the actress resumed shooting for the same film in Italy and even brought in her birthday on October 13 on the set. “I shot an emotional scene; it was very different from the normal birthday mood,” she chuckles from Italy. “But thanks to the time difference, I got an extra six hours to celebrate it.”
Given the title, one wonders if the Radha Krishna Kumar directorial is the tale of Radha and Krishna. Pooja clarifies, “My character is not the mythological Radha, we have just been inspired by the iconic lovers.” Buzz is, she is playing a double role. Once again, the actress sets the record straight, insisting it’s not a double role, but promises that it’s in a space she hasn’t explored before.
Italy is among the many countries in the world witnessing a second surge of coronavirus cases. The restrictions, which were relaxed, are slowly being imposed again. What’s it like filming in the midst of an ongoing pandemic in Italy? “We have a smaller set and fewer crew members with everyone wearing a mask. The saying, ‘The show must go on’, is apt for the entertainment industry. We are shooting responsibly and everyone was tested before joining the shoot,” she informs.
Despite all precautions, she doesn’t rule out the risk of shooting in times like these. “Everything is sanitised on the set at regular intervals but there’s only so much that one can do. You have to take off the mask in front of the camera. The shoot environment has changed with a ‘no hug’ policy, but you have to adapt to the new normal. The first two days were rocky, then, we moved on,” she avers.
The shoot in Italy will go on till October 31, followed by a brief stint in Hyderabad before calling it a wrap. “We are taking things as we go along. As they say, ‘Man proposes, God disposes’,” she says.
Pooja also has Sajid Nadiadwala’s ‘Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali’, a social comedy with action and drama, with Salman Khan in the lead. Prod her for details and she keeps it short, “I was supposed to start shooting for it in October but the pandemic has changed all our plans. I’m not sure about the new dates, but I can’t wait to start. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride,” Pooja laughs gaily.