So here's a detailed report on my participation as an background actor in the Bollywood production yesterday:
The title of the film is expected to be "THAR" (named after the desert in western Rajasthan) and will probably be released on Netflix at some point.
It is an action/horror thriller, which is why, as far as I know, there will be no dance scenes in it.
Since a few scenes take place in a hotel "abroad", a few "foreigners" were needed as background actors.
Since there are not so many foreigners in India because of the pandemic, they looked for matching foreigners in numerous hotels in Udaipur and a neighboring city. They were looking for people between 20 and 40 years old. But since I don't look as old as I am and they only found 5 other foreigners who were willing to participate, they took me also.
So I was picked up yesterday around 2 p.m. with a tucktuck and first brought to a big place where numerous tents were set up.
Unfortunately, the first thing I had to do was sign a contract in which I was forbidden to take photos or videos of the shooting, let alone publish them.
For this reason, I can unfortunately not show you any photos or videos directly from the shooting. Sorry!
Afterwards, all the background actors had to take a Corona quick test, which we all passed.
Then we went to the dressing tent. I was given a gray shirt, dark denim pants and a pair of hiking boots.
Then we had to wait a while, but we were also allowed to help ourselves at a buffet that had been set up.
Finally we were driven to the actual filming location with several tucktucks. On the way we got stuck in a traffic jam - as usual in India.
The filming location was a large hotel that is only a few hundred meters away from the hostel where I am currently staying.
In one of the hotel rooms we had to wait for quite some time.
Finally we were taken to the actual set.
The first scene was shot in a hallway where I was supposed to sit at a table next to the staircase and pretend to read a book while the male lead actor came up the stairs and walked past me down the hallway. The other 5 "foreigners" were assigned to other places along the hallway and on the stairs and were to smoke or pretend to talk.
To my positive surprise, the scene was shot by a camerawoman and not a man. Since the camerawoman had to film the main actor from the front all the time, she had to walk backwards in front of him the whole way, which is not so easy, of course. Therefore, the scene had to be repeated 6 or 7 times, which took a correspondingly long time until it was finally done.
Then there was a longer break, during which we were brought back to the hotel room. Since it was already about 9 p.m. by then, they brought us a cold ready-made meal to the room as dinner.
For the next scene they needed only 4 of us 6 "foreigners", luckily I was chosen again. First we had to change clothes again. This time I got a brown shirt, the rest I could keep on.
The second scene took place again in the same hallway of the hotel. This time I had to stand at the parapet with a beer bottle in my hand. The male lead should then come out of one of the hotel rooms and walk past me. Afterwards, the female lead was supposed to come out of the same hotel room, come up to me and say to me, "I will come back, Sven" (they actually kept my name). I should then just reply with "Ok!", whereupon she walks off in the other direction.
This scene was only shot twice, because then a discussion arose between the main actors, the director and the camerawoman, why the main actress would talk to me at all, which I honestly didn't understand either, since I otherwise played no role in the film. As a result, the scene was shot again completely without me - which is a pity, but probably made more sense.
After this scene was finally shot, we were told that we "foreigners" would no longer be needed. We were brought back to the hotel room by our supervisor. On the way there, however, we quickly took a group photo, which you can see above.
In the hotel room we put on our own clothes again. Since my hostel was close by, I said goodbye to the others and walked the few hundred meters back. In the meantime, it was already 1:30 at night, so I went to bed shortly after.
Most of the time we just spent waiting, but that's probably normal for such movie productions. And even though I will probably only be seen very briefly in a small scene in the background, the whole thing was still a lot of fun and of course super interesting and also really exciting.
I will definitely watch the film as soon as it will be released on Netflix.