Amitabh Bachchan back at work as Bollywood relaxes on-set rules

Amitabh Bachchan back at work as Bollywood relaxes on-set rules

Shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati? which he's has hosted as quizmaster since 2000, will not be shot before a studio audience
24 Aug, 2020

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan is back at work filming India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? following a bout of COVID-19, while authorities eased coronavirus curbs on movie and TV shoots.

A blanket ban on studio activity in March dealt a huge blow to India's cinema and TV industries, hitting not just Bollywood -- the world's most prolific film factory -- but also regional movie-making hubs and productions for television and streaming platforms.

In June shooting was allowed again but with strict rules, including a ban on actors and crew aged over 65 -- including Bachchan, 77 -- until a court overturned that earlier this month.

Late Sunday the government eased the regulations but still insisted that common facilities be regularly sanitised, masks worn and social distancing "followed as far as possible".

But the relaxation depends on individual Indian states, and Maharashtra, home to Mumbai and Bollywood and responsible for more than a fifth of India's virus cases, is sticking to the old rules for now.

"We are careful and will review these decisions based on how the pandemic is evolving in the state," a spokesman for the state government told AFP.

Shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati? for instance, which Bachchan has hosted as quizmaster since 2000, will not be shot before a studio audience.

The veteran star, who spent much of July in a Mumbai hospital, shared a photo with his 22 million Instagram followers of crew members "in a sea of blue PPE", wearing full-body overalls and face masks.

Maharashtra authorities have sought to combat the spread of infections by banning producers from filming elaborate dance numbers and fight sequences -- a staple of popular Hindi cinema.

Social-distancing norms also put a stop to kissing or embracing, meaning a return of styles from the more conservative 1980s, when Bollywood songs often cut to images of flowers brushing against each other -- then a shorthand for romance.

In addition to providing crew members with medical and life insurance, producers in Mumbai are required to have a doctor, nurse and an ambulance on set.

Members of the Bachchan dynasty have been among the country's highest-profile coronavirus patients.

The superstar, his actor son Abhishek, actress daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, and granddaughter Aaradhya were all admitted to hospital last month. All four have since been released.


Ali da Malanga Aug 24, 2020 06:10pm
He is a closet Hindutva believer.
Click Aug 24, 2020 07:26pm
We have modi as a clown making fictional circus shows, no need for him .
Mushtaq tokyo Aug 24, 2020 08:08pm
Who this guy?oh yeah see.indian.i forgot his face.lucky I'm watching Ertugrul and looking west.
Ahmad Aug 24, 2020 08:42pm
Amitabh sir we all love you. Stay safe. Looking forward to this new movie.
Gulshan Omar Aug 24, 2020 09:36pm
Welcome back Amitav. We were missing you and your show. Please start your Kaun Banega ... show as soon as possible.
Your Master Aug 24, 2020 10:32pm
Back at work ? embarrassing, give youngs chance now.
Pathanoo Aug 24, 2020 11:34pm
Life has to go on and become normal. Corona or no Corona.
The lost soul Aug 24, 2020 11:52pm
Poor soul. The only working member of bachan family !
Umesh Aug 26, 2020 05:54am
@Ali da Malanga And why not? Have you heard and seen javed misndad?