When it was announced that Ranveer Singh will voice Deadpool in Deadpool 2, many said the two were an immaculate fit for each other. Ranveer, over the years, has shown a similar jester-like disposition in his public appearances, interviews and even tweets. Deadpool, who is known as Merc with a Mouth as he never stops talking, is known for his propensity for violence, filthy language and hilarious one-liners. Will Ranveer be up to it? As the film release in a couple of days, he spoke to indianexpress.com about voicing the character he so loves and what difficulties he faced while giving his voice. He also spoke about the possibility of a bonafide superhero film from India.
Q. Why did you agree to voice this character? Was the reason Ryan Reynolds? Or Deadpool? Or both?
I thought it would be something new for me to do. A novel challenge. Something I have not attempted before, to lend my voice for the Hindi version of what I find to be a really, really cool film. I watched Deadpool 1 and I absolutely loved the movie. I love the character and love Ryan Reynolds in it. And that has a lot to do with why I agree to give my voice in the desi Deadpool, as they say. It is because I really loved the film and the character. There was a new challenge there. I had not done something like this before. I thought it would be fun to use foul Hindi language on screen, to be honest. I just wanted to give gaalis on screen. That’s the long and short of it.
Q. What do you find most appealing about Deadpool?
What I find most appealing about Deadpool is his uninhibited nature and his brand of irreverent humour. And I love the fact that he does not take himself too seriously or any situation seriously. That he always see the humour in situations and he is always on the lighter side of things. I think Ryan Reynolds is brilliant in the way that he plays Deadpool. There is so much of his own personality he infuses into the character, it really hits the home run. I really enjoyed this entire process. I think the Hindi version has its own charm and quality to it. For some reason – at least this is my personal opinion – crass Hindi just somehow sounds way more impactful than crass English. If you curse in English vs Hindi, for me there’s no comparison. Hindi is just way cooler and way more of an impact. I can vouch for that since I have done this. As I had explicated to Mr Ryan Reynolds in my tweet, it is so fulfilling to be able to curse in Hindi in a film for a character. It’s the best thing. I’m so glad I did this.
Q. Do you think you have done justice to the character by your voice? How hard is it to voice a character not played by you?
It is very difficult because the choices for you as an actor have already been made. You have to align yourself to those choices to a great degree. So it is very difficult. I have a newfound respect for dubbing artists and voice-over artists. What they do is not easy at all. It is very, very tedious. It is time-consuming and it can be exhausting. It takes a lot of skill. It takes a lot of application of the mind. It was all in all a fulfilling process and it taught me a lot. It was also a little more difficult because the people who were behind the console – the supervisors, the operators, the writers, they were all saying how Deadpool is a particularly difficult character to dub for because he’s so talkative. He always has something or the other to say in any situation. You know, he’s just got verbal diarrhea. He just goes off on a tangent and he keeps rambling, says anything. So it was a slightly more challenging character to dub for than usual. But I relish a challenge and I really, really enjoyed this process.
Q. Many fans are saying that Ranveer and Deadpool are a perfect match. Would you like to physically play a role in Deadpool 3 if it happens?
(Laughs) Yeah! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of big-ticket, tentpole Hollywood superhero franchise? Sure, if there is an interesting character – why not? I always maintain never say never. But what I am most interested in is to see where the next Indian superhero is going to come from. I don’t think we are very far from seeing a big-ticket Indian superhero in a big screen bonanza feature film that can be turned into a franchise or whatnot. We do have some home-grown superheroes. I have for a while been in a conversation and exploring this unique opportunity to present an Indian superhero. While Deadpool 2 was a gig I did for fun, what I am serious about is the growth and development of the superhero genre out of India.
Q. Jokes are often lost in translation. Does it make sense to translate the funny one-liners while dubbing or use a Hindi equivalent?
It is very difficult actually. More often than not Deadpool cracks jokes, deliver one-liners and punchlines that don’t have a direct cultural translation. They are culture-specific to the US. Only somebody who is raised and born in that culture will get it. It doesn’t translate for people who are born in and hail from other cultures. So that cultural translation you have to do for them. You have to apply a certain bit of your general knowledge. And, if you are the actor voicing the part then you have to contribute. In conjunction with the writers, you have to come up with something that works. You have to be able to structure it in a way where the exact line you’re saying fits into the exact timing of how it is said in the English version. Utna hi time milta hai apko bolne ke liye (You get only that much time to speak the line). So you have to fit it in that. You have to word it very specifically. So if it is a five-word sentence or a five-syllable sentence, then you can only have five syllables. You can’t exceed it. It’s difficult to compress it or to structure it. If you really get into the making of how I have dubbed for this, when you compare what was said in English and what was said in Hindi, you’ll be like, ‘Who would’ve thought!’ Sometimes it is really tangential. Sometimes there is no cultural translation. If you do the comparison, you’ll be surprised in the way some of the lines are translated. That’s the most difficult process. Sometimes you do get stuck. There are no answers and then you are just choosing the one that works better. Very often it doesn’t translate. And that’s the expertise of the writer and skill of the performer. It all comes together to try and make it work, but that workability is not always forthcoming.
Q. How far is India from making a bonafide superhero with decent visual effects? Is it just technical expertise and budget or lack of willingness?
I am personally very keen on seeing a true-blue Indian superhero. I don’t think at all it has to do with a lack of willingness. In fact, we have a plethora of Indian superheroes that can be adapted for the big screen. But yes, it is somewhere or the other a function of visual effects and where they are at this point in our country versus where they are in the west – far more evolved and further ahead in the technological know-how. Visual capabilities are so strong there and of course, our audience has access to all those films. So there is a certain standard you need to match. So if you’re making a film on an Indian superhero that is made in India, the visual effects have to be just as good. And now, I can proudly say that VFX has reached a stage in India where you can make an Indian superhero film that can be, you know, at a world-class level. I think we have the stories and we have the characters. We are very rich in that context. It is just around the corner and I am hoping to be a part of that spawning of that culture. Of course, we have Shaktiman (laughs). And I think the new-age adaptation of superheroes that we have grown up loving should be something to look forward to. I think it will bring about a positive change for Hindi films. It will be that big-screen experience that demands the audiences go and experience on the big screen. Form what I know from my interaction with producers, is that a lot of people are trying to mount such films and I hope you get to see something very, very soon.