Rajinikanth recalls Covid scare on Annaatthe sets: 'Most challenging experience of my life'

New Delhi:

Superstar Rajinikanth on Thursday marked 50 days of the theatrical release of his most-recent film ‘Annaatthe’. Sharing an anecdote from the shooting days, the Thalaiva called it one of the most challenging experiences of his life. 

“We started shooting Annaatthe in December 2019. And after 35 days of shooting, we took a break. We were supposed to resume around March end in 2020. But, before then, there was the outbreak of coronavirus. And for the next nine months, there was no work. In December, we again began shooting for the film (in Hyderabad). We followed all the safety guidelines, including Covid tests for everyone on the sets to wear masks all the time. Even artists wore the mask all the time except for the duration of a scene,” he recalled in a voice note he posted on his Hoote account.

The shoot had to paused after two weeks as Keerthy Suresh’s assistant had contracted the infection. 

“He had developed the Covid infection five days ago but he told no one. Everyone was in shock. I worked with Keerthy Suresh closely on the sets as we performed scenes without masks. And the assistant was also with us all along. Everyone was shocked. Director Siva and producer Kalanithi Maran were upset and immediately canceled the shoot and began to test everyone,” he added.

“Three months later we resumed the shoot. In the climax, we had to shoot with around 800 junior artists. We shot the climax for 18 days. Of which around 8 days we had to shoot with these 800 people. Imagine doing Covid tests for everyone. And only during the shot, all artists should remove the mask. Just for the shot. And the doctors’ clearly told me that I should not mingle with any crowd. The climax scene involves me standing alone on a rooftop and giving instructions to my fellow actors. Siva had conceived that scene two years ago and not for the Covid situation. This I believe is God’s will. And the second wave was fast going out of control. And on the eve of lockdown in Telangana, we completed our shoot. This is also God’s will,” Rajinikanth said.

Rajinikanth-starrer Annaatthe hit the screens on November 4 across Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Directed by he Siva, the film opened to some bad reviews but raked in money at the box-office. The film is now streaming on Netflix India and SunNXT. In addition to Tamil, it is also available in Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.


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