Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) Work on the second season of the web series "Mastram" has started, and what with scenes of sex and intimacy being an integral part of the story, the makers plan to shoot intimate sequences in the new season following due restrictions and guidelines in the age of social distancing.
Sex and sexuality forms an important aspect of the show because of its theme. The series accounts the real-life story of the writer Rajaram, who became successful writing pulp fiction loaded with erotica under the pseudonym of Mastram, and also brings alive the stories of his bestseller books on screen.
"His cult books are an integral part and will continue to be in the show. The battle between his real world relationships and his literary imaginations were the core of the series -- which is why people have connected with the series. His conflicts will continue to be explored," said Anshuman Jha, who essays the lead role of Rajaram/Mastram.
However, he added that the intimate scenes would have to be shot as per guidance.
"The intimacy bits will again be done by specialists and I am sure the producers will follow the guidelines laid down in post corona times. Honestly, I will be wary of intimacy, as I will be of (filming) action or dance (sequences) for the time being. I wouldn't want my girlfriend to not hug me just because I have been on set! So we will have to be careful and follow protocols. Right now safety is priority. But this phase will pass," Anshuman added.
Season two of the MX Player web series will start shooting in August or September.
About the show, the actor added: "The character of Rajaram is based on a real person from the eighties. His innocence versus his fame under the pen name of 'Mastram', and the conflict between the two, is what excited me. Also, (it was exciting) getting a chance to work with an international intimacy team (who supervised the intimate scenes). I like to call him 'Innocently Rajaram, luckily Mastram'."
On whether the second season would be radically different in tone , Anshuman said: "I don't think the DNA of the show will change much because the show is about the journey of Rajaram's character, his love, his relationships with his uncle/best friend et cetera."
Writer Aryan Sunil also admitted that at the writing stage, physical intimacy may have to be curtailed.
"We are focussing on the story of Rajaram from where we have left it in this season and his love story. We don't know how long will this Covid situation will continue, so we are focusing on writing it with story structures as per Mastram's books," Sunil said.
"The intimacy and its degree will be designed by the team depending on the restrictions during the time of shoot. We can't speculate right now since no one knows what will be the situation in three months. We will follow all guidelines now, which we did even before corona. We had protocols and all necessary preparation before shoot and we were to first show to do it with international intimacy directors. We will be doubly careful now. The story is about Rajaram's life and we will continue exploring it like we did this time," he added.
Directed by Harish Vyas, "Mastram" features Jagat Singh Rawat, Aakash Dabhade, Rani Chatterjee, Tara Alisha Berry, Murari Kumar, and Vipin Sharma among others. The show is produced by Prabhleen Kaur Sandhu and it streams on the OTT platform MX Player.