Voiceover artistes yet to get their due in the film industry, say makers and actors feel insecure

Written by Dipti Nagpaul | Mumbai

One of the early and successful voiceover artistes, Meena Gokuldas quit the profession last year. The work was challenging but little recognition and remuneration came her way. “The industry has grown but the remuneration has not increased to match budget spends or profits,” she says.

Gokuldas’s concerns are reiterated by Amitabh Bachchan’s character in the weekend release, Shamitabh, where he lends voice to a mute wannabe actor essayed by Dhanush. When the latter becomes a superstar, it leads to ego clashes between the two, where Amitabh Bachchan demands a share in the fame.

Most voiceover artistes second Gokuldas and believe that the craft has still not got its due in the film industry. “Few know that Deepika Padukone’s voice was dubbed in her blockbuster debut Om Shanti Om,” says Mona Ghosh Shetty, a seasoned artiste who was the voice of the actor. She also did voiceovers for Jacqueline Fernandez in Aladin and Race 2 and for Katrina Kaif in Sarkar and Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye. Another case in point is Naaz. While she went on to become a star, few know that Naaz dubbed for Sridevi when the popular actor was starting her career.

Viraj Adhav, who has lent his voice to John Abraham and Dino Morea, among many others, explains that most stars today have had their voices dubbed in their first few films. “An actor may be a good screen performer, but may take time to adjust to dialogue delivery. Sometimes, he or she may find it difficult to repeat the performance in the dubbing studio, causing a mismatch between the voice and the visual. Voiceover artistes step in at such times,” says the 37-year-old, who has been in the industry for 20 years and has dubbed for John Abraham in his first four films.

Dubbing is a complex and challenging job. Apart from having a good voice and the ability to modulate it, a voiceover artist needs to have a natural flair for acting, says Shetty as “one is performing the character and attempting to emulate the emotional graph he goes through”. They also need to have great timing and strong observation skills to imbibe the natural pauses and mannerisms of an actor so it can be reproduced through their voice. Artistes have to audition for roles too because the voice needs to match the actor’s physical attributes. Looking at Shamitabh for instance, the idea of a lanky Dhanush with Bachchan’s booming voice seemed absurd early on. But it didn’t seem out of place once the promo released.

More at http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/voice-of-the-face/

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