Rakul Preet Singh had just landed in Mumbai on September 6 to resume work on her cross-border love story when she learnt that the eight-day schedule, from September 7 to 14, had been cancelled after her co-star Arjun Kapoor tested positive for Covid-19. “The place was still on the runway when I got the call. Had I known even half an hour earlier, I wouldn’t have boarded the flight,” says the actress.
She immediately called up her Telugu film director, Krish, wondering if they could advance their shoot, originally scheduled for September 15, so the 10 days wouldn’t go waste. “Since they also had to get dates from other stars and permissions, we only started this Thursday,” informs Rakul, who flew back to Hyderabad on September 9, admitting her schedule has gone for a toss.
She had come to Mumbai for a day towards August-end for the same film and everyone was fine then. But during a mandatory test done a few days prior to the shoot, Arjun tested positive. “I had tested negative the day before Arjun’s report came. He didn’t come in contact with anyone on the set. I traced back and figured that he might have come in contact with someone infected while I was shooting in Hyderabad,” she says, adding that she’s in touch with the actor and he is doing well.
Ask her how differently the Telugu industry is dealing with the new normal and she points out that right now, everyone’s focus is on taking precautions and following SOPs. “Everyone, except for actors, wears masks and gloves all the time. There are regular temperature checks and Covid tests being done in Hyderabad too. I feel like I’m living in a bubble,” she shares, adding that they’re filming in a forest and the unit is staying in a nearby resort with no outside contact. “You feel safer knowing that you’re with a 50-member crew and all have been tested. Even the food is being cooked here.”
With the rising number of cases across India, isn’t it a little premature to resume work? “People are falling ill sitting at home,” she shoots back. “Human beings are known to adapt to any situation. I’m ready to resume work with all the precautions.” And when does she return to Mumbai? “I’ve no idea, I’m shooting in Hyderabad now,” she signs off.