When Disney India began hunting for the Hindi voice of superhero Helen, or Elastigirl, from the animated film Incredibles 2, two parameters stood out: confidence and charm. And the choice was suddenly clear.
“The first name that came to mind was Kajol. We only had a plan A and that was Kajol,” Disney India’s Head of Studio Entertainment, Bikram Duggal, said at a press event in Mumbai on Friday. Kajol will voice Elastigirl in the Hindi dubbed version of Incredibles 2, which is being released 14 years after the hit original The Incredibles (2004).
The sequel, which will be released in India on June 22, will turn its focus on Elastigirl, who goes away on a new mission leaving behind her husband Bob, or Mr Incredible, to struggle with babysitting and household duties. Holly Hunter and Craig T Nelson have voiced the characters in the English version. In 2004, Shah Rukh Khan had dubbed for Bob in in the Hindi version.
“It is a very relatable film, just like the first movie,” Kajol said at the event. “This is more family based. It is funny when the husband has to take care of the kids. It is also interesting the way it is done. As far as the story is concerned, with Elastigirl going out there for a new mission, I think most mothers contend with this guilt as to how things are home even during work.”
The film begins where the original left off: the crime-fighting Parrs, who are struggling to keep their identities secret, battle newer and stranger villains. Apart from Bob and Helen, there are Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack. Returning characters from the 2004 movie include Lucius Best or Frozone (voiced by Samuel L Jackson) and fashion designer Edna Mode (Brad Bird).
“It was a little strange and weird to dub for Elastigirl because it was somebody else’s voice and body,” Kajol said. “But the process was so exciting at the same time. At the end of it, I wished I had a super power like that.”
Although Kajol leapt at the opportunity when the film was pitched to her, dubbing is not the same as acting, she argued. “When you are dubbing for yourself it is bad enough, but when you are dubbing for others it is twice as worse,” she said. “The point of dubbing for Elastigirl was what was the most exciting. Without doing all the physical activity, I am getting the credit for it. Elastigirl can stretch herself, but I can stretch my voice around Elastigirl.”
A key character in the sequel is the youngest member of the family, Jack-Jack, whose superpowers are often destructive. “Like how Jack Jack becomes a monster, children too tend to become wild,” Kajol joked. “They are normal one day and suddenly another day, they burst out. What I liked most about the film is that there is so much of a sense of humour. Everything is said nicely.”
The actress will next be seen in Pradeep Sarkar’s Ela, in which she plays an aspiring singer. Kajol compared picking a good script to picking a good book.
“I am a reader and I love reading,” Kajol said. “I always feel a good script should be like one of those books you are reading till 4 o clock on a morning when you have to wake up at 7 o clock and go to work. The character should be one which you can build and make something amazing out of it. I do not think about whether I have the main lead in the film or have two scenes in the film. It should be the kind of work that will leave a strong impact that stays with you.”