Gun-toting Vidya discomforted by gunpowder


Srijit Mukherji insists Vidya Balan didn’t faint on his sets, she simply felt giddy; a camera attendant wasn’t burnt, simply singed by a flaming torch
Mirror (July 5) had informed that on the sets of the Vidya Balan starrer, Begum Jaan, because of the long hours, a couple of her over-worked co-stars had taken ill and one of them, Raviza Chauhan, even had to be hospitalised when her “sodiumpotassium level fell.” Now we hear that the begum herself had taken ill on Thursday.
Says a source from the sets, “Vidya was shooting the actionpacked climax, which required her to fire a gun. The actors had been filming for a long time and she suddenly felt dizzy and fainted. Rather than stalling the shoot, she rested for a while and was back to set soon.”However, director Srijit Mukherji, assures that his lead actress didn’t pass out. “She felt giddy because the overpowering smell of the gunpowder was making her uncomfortable.Even the other actresses felt some amount of discomfort. There’s a doctor and a 24-hour ambulance always on a stand-by on the set who immediately attended to Vidya. I insisted that she rest for five minutes before resuming the shoot. She is absolutely fine now,” he says. The filmmaker added they were shooting with toy and dummy guns but they had sprinkled gunpowder in the nozzles to create the impression of gunfire. “We’d been shooting the climax sequence over the last three days and this happened only on Thursday night. As far as long shifts are concerned, we usually shoot 12 hours a day. Only on two or three days, the shift was extended because we had to compensate for the time we had lost because of torrential rains,” he asserts.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, also on Thursday, a camera assistant accidentally burnt his face while filming a sequence that involved torches. He has reportedly suffered serious facial burns.
Srijit once again refutes the charge saying that the sequence required the bad guys to throw flaming mashaals at the house. “One of the torches passed a little too close to the attendant’s face and singed it.He immediately applied an antiseptic, Burnol, to his injuries and went back to the shooting,” he says.
Vidya wraps up the Jharkhand schedule on Saturday and returns to Mumbai. The last schedule will be in Delhi where they will shoot a dream sequence with her. Hopefully there will be no nightmares, real or scripted, the next time.

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