Pandemic has changed the industry, says Alaya F

Mumbai: Actor Alaya F, known for her films such as “Jawaani Jaaneman” and “Freddy”, says the pandemic has changed the Hindi film industry as a whole and she finds it easier to adapt to it now.

The actor, daughter of model-actor Pooja Bedi, will next be seen in ZEE5’s “U Turn”.

“The pandemic has changed the industry as a whole. It has changed approaches, it has changed people’s viewing patterns, and what is being made. Luckily, this is the world that I know. This post-pandemic industry is easier for me to adapt to,” the actor told PTI in an interview.

The 25-year-old actor, whose debut movie “Jawaani Jaaneman” came right before the pandemic in 2020, said she still considers the pandemic as the biggest “obstacle” in her four-film-old career.
“My biggest challenge was the pandemic right after my first release. So far, it is my biggest obstacle. My film was released and a few weeks later the entire world stopped. What s*ed even more is that I got good reviews, it was a great time for me to capitalise on it.

“You work for this moment and that moment goes well but before you make the most of it, everything stops. Two years and 11 months after that you don’t have another release. It is not easy, the whole phase of the pandemic, I was like, ‘Is my career over?’.”

Alaya F, however, is happy to be a part of the film industry at a time when it is going through a shift in the way creators and viewers approach content.

“The silver lining is that everything turned out well. In the last six months it is my third release. It feels great,” she said.

“U Turn” is the official Hindi adaptation of a 2016 Kannada movie of the same name, featuring actor Shraddha Srinath. The Kannada film was remade in Malayalam in 2017 and was adapted as a Telugu-Tamil bilingual feature in 2018.

In the Hindi version, Alaya plays Radhika, an inquisitive, emotionally-driven woman, who is investigating and writing a story on a flyover where multiple accidents take place.

The actor said the Hindi version of “U Turn” is a bit different from the original.

“‘U Turn’ has been made many times before but the core of it is the same. There are twists and turns, the ending is different. Even if someone has seen the other version, this is new, it has its own energy, there are surprises at the end,” Alaya said, adding that she hasn’t seen the original film as film’s director Arif Khan didn’t want her to get influenced.

Produced by Ektaa Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures, “U-Turn” will be released on ZEE5 on April 28.

Alaya will also feature in Rajkummar Rao-led movie “Sri”, a biopic on visually impaired industrialist Srikanth Bolla.

“‘Sri’ is coming out in September. It is a special film. It is one of those projects, I felt I had to be part of this story, how small or big (the role is). It is an incredible real-life story that deserves to be told and seen in the most beautiful way and there is no one better than Raj to do it,” she said.