Thalaivasal Vijay is back in Chennai after wrapping up the shoot for his upcoming Bollywood outing, Bell Bottom in Scotland. Interestingly, Bell Bottom was one of the first few films to resume and wrap up shoot during the pandemic. And, it was an experience like no other, says Thalaivasal Vijay.
“We all had to wear a wrist watch that constantly monitored our heartbeat, oxygen level, blood pressure, stress levels and body temperature. We had to live within our bubbles, maintain social distancing and wear masks. No guests were allowed to meet us. I followed my own routine of morning walk within the hotel premises and had kadukkai podi and pepper on a regular basis to keep the immunity levels up. We had an onset doctor as well. The set was sanitised on a regular basis. After our shoot, we had to sit and wait for our shot in our designated places. The producers had done a fantastic job when it came to the safety protocols,” says the actor.
Calling his co-star Akshay Kumar a delight to work with, Thalaivasal Vijay says, “He would be one of the first persons to arrive on the sets after his morning fitness routine. I told him that my children were swimming champions and he was quite impressed by it. The one thing I liked the most about him was that he goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable. I always have butterflies in my stomach during my first shot and this film was no exception. Akshay Kumar is known for playing pranks on the sets. He asked me to teach him some Tamil words and soon, the entire set erupted in laughter. I, on the other hand, had learnt a smattering of Hindi from my wife during the lockdown and he appreciated me for the same.”
He also added that Lara Dutta Bhupathi would be a revelation in the film. “I cannot divulge the details of her character, but I must say that she was fantastic.” Bell Bottom is directed by Ranjit M Tewari and is based on true events. The film also stars Huma Qureshi and Vaani Kapoor.