Sharad Kelkar, who dubbed for Prabhas in Hindi Baahubali, used to stammer
Shows like Saat Phere, Uttaran and Agent Raghav have given Sharad Kelkar recognition among the TV audiences. His work as a dubbing artiste for Prabhas in the Hindi version of Baahubali made him one of the most heard voices in India. Second part of the franchise will be aired on Sony Max on Sunday.
The actor, who is celebrating his birthday today, says it all looked really difficult in the beginning. He says, “I am really proud of the fact that I am part of the biggest feature film of India. I got a new name after Baahubali. Girls used to know me, but the male audiences were not interested in me, but after Baahubali they also take notice of me.”
He further says, “The credit should go to SS Rajamouli for it. Prabhas and I have a similar personality like we have the same strong built. He met me when I was called to the Rajkamal Studio for the voice test. Probably my physicality also worked in my favour.”
Sharad Kelkar hails from Madhya Pradesh and the journey wasn’t easy. He says, “I have been working in this industry for close to 12-13 years now. Initially, I had a stammering issue, but people used to tell me I have a good voice. I wanted to learn first and then wanted to go for acting. I approached one of the leading studios in Mumbai. After learning for a while, they started giving me small roles. Within one year’s time, I got my first film as a lead voice-over artist. It was Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes. Then I did voice-over for a series of films like White House Down, Exodus etc. But it was more of a hobby and I wanted to make acting my profession.”
The 40-year-old jovial actor laughs off my compliment on his amazing dubbing skills. He says, “Yaar, log kuch bhi bolte hain. There are so many good voices in the country. Like I am a huge fan of Jaaveed Jaafery. Neenad Kamat is there. And then Mr Bachchan is also there. Amrish Puri and Raza Murad, there are so many good voices.”
This year, he has been seen in films like Irada, Bhoomi, Guest In London and Baadshaho. Is that a shift from TV for him? “No, I am still very much working on TV. I will tell you what happens. After working for these many years, I think whatever work you’re doing, you should connect with it. I don’t know why but I am not interested in a lot of roles I am offered. Many of them are mythological characters and I want to do modern, contemporary shows. Paise sabko achche lagte hain lekin thoda bahut excitement bhi hona chahiye.”
He holds an MBA degree in Marketing. Did that make his family sceptical about his plunge into acting? Kelkar says with a hearty laugh, “Meri mummy ne nahi poocha isiliye main yahan tak pahuch gaya. She watches TV and probably wanted to see me in some naag-naagin show. We are Marathi, so just to make her happy I said I am doing a Marathi film, please wait for it.”
Married to actor Keerti Gaekwad, Sharad Kelkar seems to have found his niche and now the onus is on the actor to exploit the opportunities.
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