BOLLYWOOD VOICES ITS STAR POWER
From Salman Khan to Tiger Shroff and Arshad Warsi, mainstream actors take to dubbing for animation films or desi versions of Hollywood flicks
Earlier, instances of Bollywood stars voicing characters in animated films or international blockbusters dubbed in Hindi, were far and few in between. Now, our mainstream actors are going full throttle with it. Salman Khan did the dubbing for Hanuman in Hanuman Da’ Damdaar, Arshad Warsi lent his voice to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, and Tiger Shroff has joined the voice cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Makers admit that star collaboration generates strong buzz around their film. Taher Shabbir, producer of Hanuman..., says it’s great to have big names like Salman associate with such projects. “Without the name [of a big star], it’s very difficult to sell the film to sponsors and get backing from a studio... It goes on to show that these people have faith in the project, hence increasing its value,” he says.
If you think it’s any less taxing for actors to dub for a film than to act in it, you’re wrong, says Arshad Warsi. “You can’t dub in one take. After three-four hours, your voice gets tired. [Nevertheless] it’s a great opportunity, and I enjoyed it.”
Actor Ali Asgar, who dubbed for The Despicable Me 3, shares the sentiment. “Voice-overs are tough — to bring out the emotions and modulation isn’t a piece of cake. You have to be charged at all times,” he says.
Director of Hanuman..., Ruchi Narain adds that they created content keeping Salman’s voice in mind. “We had designed our character like him. Salman, too, was deeply involved and that was visible to the audiences when they watched the film in the theatre,” she says.
Although popular names are now associating with the industry, actor and dubbing artist Sharad Kelkar says that voiceover artists are still not getting their due. “At times, they are made to feel left out. Unlike Hollywood, the dubbing artists here are hardly a part of the film’s promotions,” says Kelkar, who did the voiceover for the Baahubali franchise and Moana.