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Rajesh Khattar: When stars’ voices are used, studios pay big money

Updated on: 24 May,2024 07:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Rajesh Khattar, who has dubbed for Raktadeva in Baahubali: Crown of Blood, rues that voice artistes don’t get their due

Rajesh Khattar: When stars’ voices are used, studios pay big money

Rajesh Khattar and SS Rajamouli

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Rajesh Khattar: When stars’ voices are used, studios pay big money

Filmmaker SS Rajamouli introduced the Indian audience to the kingdom of Mahishmati with his Baahubali franchise. Two blockbusters later, the kingdom continues to harbour many more stories as seen in Baahubali: Crown of Blood. The animation series has been designed as a prequel, which shows Baahubali and Bhallaladeva unite to defend the kingdom against the warlord, Raktadeva. Rajesh Khattar, who has lent his voice to Raktadeva in the Disney+ Hotstar offering, says his character adds intrigue to the story. He explains, “He doesn’t want to conquer Mahishmati, he wants to destroy it. The strongest aspect here is the story. There is something way more intriguing than ‘Katappa ne Baahubali ko kyun maara?’”

A still from the showA still from the show

Many may wonder whether animation will do justice to the franchise’s larger-than-life experience. Why wasn’t this designed as a web series instead of an animated feature? “The idea is to expand the formats in which Baahubali exists. [A web series] needs an exhaustive shoot and Rajamouli sir was busy with RRR [2022]. This was the right thing to do,” states Khattar.

The series’ voice cast includes Sharad Kelkar as Baahubali, Manoj Pande as Bhallaladeva and Mausam as Sivagami. Khattar rues that voiceover artistes are not given their due. “When the voices of top stars are used, there is a certain billing and the studios pay big money. But due credit must be given for the voice that suits a character, and not for a star’s face. Voice actors are never given their due. I started getting my due when Ram Gopal Varma credited me for Sudeep’s voice [in Phoonk]. With movies like Pushpa: The Rise [2021] doing well in Hindi, I got recognition when I dubbed for Fahadh [Faasil] or Shreyas did for Allu [Arjun]. Dubbing artistes shouldn’t remain faceless and nameless entities.”

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