Soaring temperatures, combined with high levels of humidity, are adding to everyone’s woes, including TV actors’. Shooting outdoors, handling the burden of elaborate costumes in the sun, and long, hectic schedules are taking a toll on small-screen celebrities.
Too hot to bear
"It’s a nightmare to shoot in the heat," says Paridhi Sharma, who plays the lead role in Jodha Akbar.
"We have to wear heavy jewellery and costumes throughout the day. The bigger problem is that our set is out in the open, so our production house can’t give us AC rooms. We have an AC vent to provide relief from the heat, but we have to sit in front of it, which is not possible all the time. There is no option, but to suffer," adds Paridhi, ruing the fact that there are no vanity vans on the sets either.
Ssharad Malhotraa, who is currently shooting a battle sequence for his historical drama Maharana Pratap in Filmcity, Goregaon (E), echoes a similar stance. He says that working in the summer is very taxing, "especially if you are working in a costume drama, as the clothes and jewellery add to the unpleasant working conditions."
Ssharad Malhotraa (Costume Weight: 3-4kg; Fabric: Heavy brocade, velvet)
On the other hand, Pankhuri Awasthi, who plays a period character in another show Razia Sultan, puts things into perspective, and says that it is essential to shoot in the heat to get natural light. "The biggest issue with shooting outdoors is that we need to be on our feet to finish the day’s schedule in time and capture the natural light," she explains.
Pankhuri Awasthi (Costume weight: 8-10kgs; Fabric: Heavy silk)
While mythological and historical shows tend to have more outdoor schedules, actors who work on fiction shows also have it tough. Actor Mohammad Nazim, whose daily soap has an indoor set, says, "We have been shooting in Mira Road for two months, where the conditions are bad. We have only one table fan on the set, which makes the heat unbearable. We have ACs in the make-up room, but most of our time is spent rehearsing or shooting."
In such a situation, one would think that shooting in a swimming pool would be fun, but even that is not easy. Pooja Banerjee, who plays a swimmer in her show, has been tanned badly while shooting for scenes in the scorching sun.
How to cope?
Nazim drinks five litres of water a day, apart from eating fruits and drinking fruit juices, butter milk and lemonade. Ssharad and Pooja, too, depend on liquids to beat the heat. "I drink a lot of liquids, especially coconut water. I also eat fruits," says Ssharad.
(*Timings are subject to change)