Posted by Fenil Seta
Letty Mariam Abraham (MID-DAY; May 6, 2017)
When Sharad Kelkar dubbed for Prabhas’ character for the Hindi version of Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), his name barely came to the fore. But with Bahubali 2: The Conclusion setting box office records, the telly actor is revelling in his share of the limelight. He didn’t admit to lending his voice to the first part because no one expected the film to do so well, he says.
“When Baahubali was offered to me, the makers wanted to do a voice test and I was not keen, because at that time, no one thought the film would be that big. I agreed because I wanted to meet S S Rajamouli [director of the Bahubali series],” adds Sharad.
Did the success of Part 1 result in higher pay for the sequel? “I didn’t ask for a fee hike after Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). In fact, I didn’t ask for any money at all. I accepted whatever they gave me,” says the actor, adding, “Working with Rajamouli was my remuneration.” He is elated with the response the film is garnering. “If it crosses Rs 1,000 crore, I’d be a small part of something that is creating history,” he says.
He also lent his voice to Vin Diesel for the Hindi version of XXX: Return Of Xander Cage and Dwayne Johnson for Moana (2017). Though he is among the most sought-after voice-over artistes at the moment, Sharad reveals he battled a speech defect until a few years ago. “I would stammer when I got too excited or angry. In fact, I was thrown out of a show because of that,” he says.