Actor Sara Ali Khan says resuming shoot for filmmaker Aanand L Rai''s "Atrangi Re" amidst the coronavirus pandemic was a "strange" experience with the cast and crew following proper safety measures. The film, which also stars Dhanush and Akshay Kumar, went on floors in Varanasi in March, but the shoot was halted when the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown was announced.
The team finally restarted production in October with its second shooting schedule taking place in Madurai.
Khan said she feels glad that despite the pandemic, the industry swung back to action with the same enthusiasm with which it had always functioned.
"Over a month ago I was shooting for the second schedule of ''Atrangi Re''. I''m now sitting in a room where people are wearing masks, suits and gloves. It''s a little strange. It was the same on set, with my director in a mask and gloves. It was different.
"But the passion and excitement with which everybody in the film fraternity comes to set with has not changed. The enthusiasm which binds us all is still there. So it really felt like I never left," the 25-year-old actor told PTI.ᨊ
"Atrangi Re" marks the first collaboration between Khan and Rai, and the actor said the director, who has critically-acclaimed movies such as "Tanu Weds Manu" series and "Raanjhanaa" to his credit, has become a family member.
"He is truly someone I can turn to for any kind of help. This year has been extremely hard for everyone. He has been there for me as a rock. On March 19, I was in Banaras shooting with him and returned to Mumbai the next day.
"Every third day during the lockdown, I''d tell him please take me back, I want to start shooting. Working with him has been a spectacular experience. I cannot wait to start our third schedule, hopefully very soon," she added.
"Atrangi Re" would be the actor''s fifth project, after her 2018 debut with "Kedarnath" which followed up with "Simmba", "Love Aaj Kal" and the upcoming Amazon Prime Video release, "Coolie No 1".
Khan said her two years in the industry have taught her to keep looking out for interesting and fresh characters.
"The reason why I wanted to be an actor was to live and portray characters and emotions that I won''t be able to do ordinarily in my own life. In my life, I am the daughter of Amrita Singh and Saif Ali Khan, I can only experience a limited number of emotions and go through certain experiences.
"But through my characters, I experience emotions that I wouldn''t be able to otherwise. So my attempt is to keep doing diverse work and hope that different filmmakers keep getting giving me work," she added.