Akshay Kumar’s 1980s espionage thriller Bell Bottom, the first film in the world to be shot during the Covid pandemic, has finished its Glasgow schedule and the sets have now shifted to London. “It was shot in a bubble,” the Bollywood superstar is believed to have said. Producer Vashu Bhagnani was grateful to Akshay for taking the risk to do this. He said, “The successful completion of the shoot in record time is testimony to the resilience of the Hindi film industry.”
But, PeepingMoon.com has learned that the 200-plus Indian team that included a 24/7 production crew had to work under stringent Covid rules and regulations in Glasgow. They virtually worked in a bubble. And went from the hotel to their cars and then to the sets for the shoot. And came back the same way. “We had to stick to one route only and were not allowed to go anywhere else in Glasgow. We could not meet any of the Scottish residents of this port city known for its museums and music. We had to socialize among ourselves,” said a source from Bell Bottom.
“But Vashuji, whose Pooja Entertainment is producing Bell Bottom with Nikkhil Advani’s Emmay Entertainment, made it worthwhile. We took over the entire Go Glasgow Urban Hotel and the first thing Vashuji did was pack off the Scottish chef. He was replaced by three of our chefs specializing in Indian, South Indian and Italian cuisines. So we had a choice of three kinds of meals every day. These chefs catered to our meals on the sets too. And everything, the cooking and serving of meals, was done maintaining extreme safety measures,” the source added.
The film was shot entirely outdoors in Glasgow. There were four sets erected in the city. And every night, after pack up, the sets would be thoroughly and completely disinfected when nobody was around and kept ready for the cast and crew the next morning. In comparison to the Glasgow schedule and shoot of Bell Bottom, the one that is underway in London is a smaller one, and Akshay is likely to wind it up this weekend. The film, that will release on April 2, 2021, is a hijack drama co-starring Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Huma Qureshi.