Seeing red, or in splits?

Perfect timing

Kapil Sharma

He has been rated the greatest comic in the country. Kapil Sharma’s lustrous career on television began with his display of extraordinary talent in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Comedy Circus from over a decade ago. His ascent was lightning fast as his show Comedy Nights With Kapil created history.

He even starred in two films: the success Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon and his home production but fiasco, Firangi. In a cloud of controversies and alleged ill-health, his show was later suspended and then resumed after a year.

To his credit, Kapil Sharma restarted his show with a new name, The Kapil Sharma Show, with a fresh outlook, including the ability to laugh at himself over the bad times he had faced. It has been a resounding success. He even wed his pre-crisis fiancé Ginny Chitrarth and will soon become a father, to which he humorously refers to as “our first production.”

Relatable

His latest triumph is his voice-over for Angry Birds 2, for the lead character of Red. Kapil jokes that his character is someone with whom he completely identifies. “He is the hero, but, at times, he gets entangled in tough situations. Just like me,” he quips. The actor also feels Red is quite funny, just like him. He admits that dubbing for this film was as rewarding and enjoyable as well as it was challenging.

“In Hollywood, the stars dub first and then the graphics are designed,” he reveals. “Here, we had to dub the dialogues that existed for the animation that had already been done. So there was also lots of scope to improvise and Archana (Puran Singh)-ji and Kiku (Sharda) and I had a ball.”

The tricky part was suiting the lines to the movements of the birds’ beaks. “The challenge was in imparting an Indianness to the characters while retaining the names — Kiku is Leonardo and Archana-ji is Zeta. The audience could not be alienated. Kiku chose to reprise his Bhojpuri accent from our show and I chose to be myself, like Archana-ji. And I enjoyed dubbing — for the first time — for someone else rather than me, and matching the beak movements!” A beak-sync, as it were.

Kapil admits that their on-screen chemistry translated into their work here. “I think the three of us have a healthy competition in our punchlines on the show. We have been chosen because of our chemistry after working so long together. I always spar verbally with Kiku on my show and here, Leonardo and Red have that quality too,” he says. “We had a lot of fun adding popular elements of today, and if you check, our lines are way different from the original English version, while not going away from the storyline.”

As real as it gets

He now hints that he will not like it if someone else is chosen as the voice for Red in later movies in this series. “My only mistake was that I had prepared two cartoon-like voices for my lines and they asked me what on earth I was thinking. They said that if they needed that kind of voice, they would have gone to someone else. I had to speak like I do normally, and imagine, I had turned down a couple of such offers earlier thinking that I had to sound like a cartoon.”

Kapil’s mother is a regular on his show. Will he show this film to his kid? “As you see, I am a family man,” he replies. “When I came into this film, I brought my family of Archana-ji and Kiku along. My kid-to-be will hardly watch this movie soon. But one day he will, and will know that his father did this good thing as well. In any case, he will watch such a film earlier than Sholay, right?”

Finally, how does Kapil tackle real angry birds in his life? “Now, that’s a very smart question,” he replies. “But, you know, actors must have all kinds of emotions within them. We actually sell emotions. Of course, I think that I am very mature now. I don’t think I give such people importance. I think that after marriage this happens to everyone, Thande pad jaate hain (We all calm down).”

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