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Voicing a 10-headed challenge

Updated on: 05 November,2023 04:36 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Giving a nod to Sanjay Dutt, Ishaan Khatter discusses voicing an iconic character and the immersive world of audio storytelling with Ravan Rising

Voicing a 10-headed challenge

Ishaan Khatter and Sanjay Dutt

Known for his versatile acting, Ishaan Khatter ventured into the audio medium recently with Audible’s Ravan Rising. The actor, though nervous, admitted that taking on the role of a character as iconic as Ravana was initially daunting. He says, “It’s a tremendous responsibility to take any character, let alone such a massive character from your mythology, and do a take on it. It was all about living up to that responsibility.” While Ravana is known for his demonic character, the story explores lesser-known aspects of a young Ravana coming into his own as a warrior king. “We have the image of warrior king and rakshasa in our mind when we discuss 
him, but Ravan Rising is about his trials and tribulations, his various talents and how he comes into his own.”

Asked about the three-dimensional experience of audio storytelling, Khatter highlighted the innovative use of sound, saying, “Sound can be very visceral. It can penetrate and make you feel things strongly and compel you to visualise the story. It is something you can do while multitasking, but since the world building is so strong, it urges you to imagine it.” Khatter, who has explored the Ramayana shares that he grew up listening to mythological tales which are “a part of his DNA”. “For me, there was a lot of discovery through this story. There is a strong duality in this character that is constantly tearing him apart. He is half human and half demon. There is a lot to be admired about his talents. He is a prolific veena player, and has immense knowledge of astras and shastras, all the while dealing with a twisted family dynamic. It is a story worth retelling,” he says of the series that also has Sanjay Dutt lending his voice for Ravana.

While he did not record the series with Dutt, Khatter heard the senior actor’s recordings to understand the tone and body language of his character’s young version. “I actually only had the good fortune of recording one day with the actress who played the mother’s character. I luckily had some pre-recordings of Sanjay Dutt, so I know how it was to hear him. I tried to move around as much as I could, and that was specifically challenging. I also tried to give [the 10 heads] different voices as much as I could and [voice] the pain of it. It was fun,” shares Khatter, who is currently gearing up for the release of Pippa.

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