Singer Sunidhi Chauhan has lent her voice to the Hindi dubbed version of Fox Star Studios’ animated Hollywood film, Rio. What’s interesting is that Jewel, the beautiful, headstrong macaw who makes her male counterpart Blu leave the comfort of his Minnesota cage and head out to the Brazilian rainforest, speaks and sings in the voice of Anne Hathaway in the English original.
“I’ve wanted to do an animated film for years but the budget always came in the way. But Rio is such an amazing film that I just had to do it. The first hour-and-a-half was difficult because I never scream, whether in joy or sadness. Even when I’m angry, I simmer silently,” she admits.
“Jewel is a very vocal character and shouts a lot. And once I got into the groove, I really slammed it on and realised that in a different way, Jewel was very me.” Rio, a 3D animated film directed by Carlos Saldanha of Ice Age: the Meltdown & Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs fame, releases to India on April 8. Sunidhi’s co-star in the film will be Shaan who speaks for Blu, originally voiced by Jesse Eisenberg.
“Even though my character is a bird, Rio is a beautiful love story like Tangled, which, for me, was last year’s most romantic film,” asserts Sunidhi who’s also dubbing for another Indian animated film but refuses to reveal the “confidential” details.
The singer, who’s been in the news lately for her duet with Latino pop star Enrique Igliesias, is on a high after half-a-dozen chart-toppers in 2010. She says she always knew that Sheila ki jawani… (Tees Maar Khan) and Apni to aasi taisi…(Housefull) would make a huge impact but hadn’t expected Udi… (Guzaarish) and Parda…(Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai) to be big hits too. “Also, while the spicy tune of Ainvayi Ainvayi… (Band Baaja Baraat) had me grooving during the recording. I was unsure if a soft song like Bin tere…(I Hate Luv Storys) would even get heard. But it’s the most played song on FM,” she marvels.
Sunidhi has been recording almost every day lately and is upbeat about a song she’s just sung for Dum Maro Dum. She says, “It’s not a Sheila…, no song will be a Sheila…, but I’m hoping it’ll be as big a draw.”