Celina Jaitly: Felt comfortable with an intimacy supervisor on set
In a positive step after #MeToo India, makers of Celina Jaitly’s comeback movie – Season’s Greetings – hire female supervisor to monitor filming of sensitive scenes
In the months following the #MeToo movement in Bollywood, the industry has been taking steps towards creating a safe working environment for women. mid-day has learnt that in a first for Bollywood, the makers of Celina Jaitly-starrer Season’s Greetings appointed an intimacy supervisor during the shoot of an intimate scene in the film. The sequence, featuring Jaitly and co-star Azhar Khan, was filmed in a penthouse in Kolkata under the watchful gaze of intimacy supervisor Manisha Basu. A social activist, Basu works closely with women’s groups.
Jaitly tells mid-day that she suggested the idea to director Ram Kamal Mukherjee, who readily made the necessary provision. “Recently, a journalist from a leading daily called me for my opinion on Hollywood roping in intimacy supervisors for scenes that might be uncomfortable for male or female actors to perform. That got me thinking. Soon, I had a detailed conversation with my director, who agreed to implement this. We both felt it could set a precedent. This shows that Bollywood is slowly and steadily welcoming the change. It’s not that I was doing a love making scene for the first time, but with an intimacy supervisor around, I was very comfortable.”
The director, on his part, states that producers Aritra Das and Shailendra Kumar too were supportive of the decision. The scene, we hear, forms a crucial part of the film as it establishes the intimacy issues between the lead couple. Asserting that Jaitly and Khan’s comfort was of utmost importance to him, Mukherjee says he had an all-women crew — barring the cinematographer — during the shoot of the said scene.
“After explaining the sequence, I would instruct them from the monitor, while Celina had an all-female crew helping her execute it.”