Television actor Pooja Banerjee was juggling between the shoots of the ALT Balaji series Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain season 3, Kasautii Zindagii Kay reboot and Zee 5 series The Casino when the lockdown was enforced. She has been using the much-needed break to spend some quality time with her husband Sandeep Sejwal.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, she says, “I have been telling everyone that this is a second honeymoon for both of us. After a long time, both of us are home and not working. We are cooking and cleaning. He is mostly taking care of the cleaning part, I am doing the cooking. So far, it has been pretty decent. I don’t feel sad or negative as of now. We feel very positive that things will soon become better.”
Pooja, who is returning as Bani Mehra in the third season of Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain, says that her camaraderie with her co-stars made the shoot smoother this time around. “I have been with the cast for almost three years now and there is a lot of camaraderie between the actors. We knew what we were looking for in the character, we knew the reactions and comeback dialogues from the co-actors. We shot much faster in comparison to season 1 and 2, actually. We got to know each other so well that we would just come, say our dialogues once and we would be there, unlike the first two seasons, where we had to sit with each other for hours to decide what the scene would be like,” she said.
Last year, Pooja suffered a nasty fall while performing on Nach Baliye 9, when she fell from Sandeep’s shoulders and landed on her front. The accident left her severely injured — with the joint of her right wrist fractured, left elbow bone chipped and a sprained ligament in her left leg.
Pooja gets emotional as she recalls shooting for Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain 3 with her injuries. “It was really difficult for me as an actor to be there (on the set) because one part of me wanted to shoot and the other part did not. The confident person in me wanted to go out and work but the practical person in me realised that I can’t work,” she says.
“For a couple of episodes, it was so difficult for me to shoot any scene. I would say, 10-15 scenes were really difficult for me because my hands were completely immobile and my body was not fully functional. Everyone was helping me on the set and trying to be around me. I had some sitting scenes but I could not sit, so the team used to help me sit up,” she shares.
With the Maharashtra government giving film and television crews a green signal to shoot in the state, Pooja will soon begin shooting for her other show, the Kasautii Zindagii Kay reboot. “We have been notified that the shoot will begin pretty soon but no one knows the exact date because the production house needs to go through a lot of on-set checks and follow a lot of guidelines before the shoot resumes,” she says.
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Pooja says returning on the sets in a pandemic situation will be a ‘crazy’ experience. “Our profession has so much physical contact, right from the make-up artiste to the hairstylist. In my room, I have five people every day when I am on the sets of Kasautii. There is a person who drapes my sari and helps me wear my jewellery, then there are hairstylists and a person who does my make-up. I don’t know how to not come in physical contact with them and do my work because I cannot do everything on my own,” she says.
“Let’s see what happens, I really don’t know. But things are going to be very different. There will be no hugging scene or touching scene (laughs). I think all the shots will be very static for the time being. But I think people will be very happy that they are getting to see us on screen,” she adds.
Erica Fernandes, Pooja’s Kasautii Zindagii Kay co-star, has earlier expressed her reservations about returning to shoot and said that she is ‘not up for it, not now at least’. What does this mean for the future of the show?
“The moment all the actors are okay with working, we will definitely start shooting pretty soon. I think every individual will have their own set of reservations about coming back on the set. A lot of people are changing their contracts and different clauses are being inculcated. There will be a lot of changes for sure but I don’t know what exactly is going to happen. Till the time we don’t reach the set, we won’t know what is happening,” she says.
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