'Sistas' Star KJ Smith Opens up about Filming at Tyler Perry Studios Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since the World Health Organisation declared the novel Coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, several cities across the world have been on varying levels of lockdown over the last four months.
The lockdown also affected the entertainment with several productions and shows paused indefinitely due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, with millions of people testing positive to the virus across the world.
Talented actress KJ Smith and her cast members on the dramedy "Sistas" were among the first to begin shooting in Hollywood following the extended lockdown. Smith and her colleagues have been camped in Tyler Perry's massive studio complex in Atlanta over the past few weeks.
On Monday, July 20, while speaking on "TMZ Live," Smith talked about the unique production environment inside Perry's Atlanta studio. She revealed she had been tested at least nine times, and other basic needs were being met. In her words,
"I feel safe here. I feel like he really cares about all of our safety, and he is not just trying to hurry up and get the project out, which is very different from the Hollywood standard."
Smith also described the experience as fun and revealed the cast refers to the set as "camp quarantine." She claimed being shut out from the rest of the world has allowed everyone develop real connections, which is not possible in the usual production setting.
Earlier in April, TMZ revealed that plans were already in the works for a safe reopening by the Tyler Perry Studios. At the time, the plan had been developed by the iconic filmmaker Tyler Perry and was being vetted by the studio execs.
Several events have been postponed or canceled outrightly, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, MLB, Premier League.
Since then, the studio has been modified appropriately to suit the needs of the casts and crew currently living within the 330-acre Atlanta studio complex.
Other productions have also begun to reopen, and recently the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kandi Burruss revealed that shooting of the reality TV series began last week.
While speaking on the extra measures being taken to ensure the safety of the cast, she revealed that they were getting tested all the time to make sure everyone's status was negative.
The cast members of the popular Bravo series seem to be satisfied with the new changes. Burruss, along with Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, and Eva Marcille, were spotted having a good time in Marcille's house.
Meanwhile, the novel Coronavirus outbreak has had grave impacts on several aspects of the economy, with several companies and brands shutting down their operations over the last three months.
Apart from the entertainment industry, several events have been postponed or canceled outrightly, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, MLB, Premier League, White House Easter Egg Roll, and many others.
Despite the apparent threat of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, fans and celebrities are eager to reopen the economy, albeit cautiously after an extended stay at home.