For someone whose childhood was all about listening to the radio, actor Tabu said narrating the Hindi audiobook adaptation of the popular graphic novel series ‘The Sandman’ was the opportunity to further explore his strength as a vocal artist.
“The Sandman” marks Tabu’s second collaboration with Audible post “Thriller Factory” (2019), a 10-episode series directed by Anurag Kashyap.
Reminiscing about her childhood when she heard different stories from Vividh Bharti’s famous radio show ‘Hawa Mahal’, Tabu said she always had a special place in her heart for the audio medium.
“I love podcasts and as a country we grew up listening to the radio, we had television and this electronic medium much later. At least (with) my generation, childhood was about listening to the radio.
“There’s a lot of strength and power and even for an artist to create, there’s a lot of space, there’s a lot of things you can do with your voice. Every actor has a distinct voice and it conveys different things,” Tabu said. PTI in a Zoom interview.
Audible, a leading producer and provider of spoken word entertainment and audiobooks, released Act I of “The Sandman” in Hindi last month.
Originally created in English by Neil Gaiman alongside artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, DC’s graphic novel has been adapted into Hindi by Neerja Chittaranjan and Nirupama Kartik.
While Gaiman served as the narrator for the English version, Tabu is the voice of the same in Hindi.
Considered one of India’s finest actresses, the National Award winner said she was honored to be associated with ‘The Sandman’.
“‘The Sandman’ has a very important place in my repertoire. It was a huge responsibility. You just have to be fair, do justice to something that someone has created from their own imagination. So I had a huge responsibility, but it was a challenge,” she said.
“I’m honored to be associated with Neil Gaiman and to be a part of the universe where there are graphic novels, especially like the creation of DC comics, the fictional characters that have so much relevance to the world and to the world we live in and for our immediate personal lives,” she added.
According to the official plot, “The Sandman” begins with an occultist attempting to capture the physical embodiment of death in a bargain for eternal life. But he mistakenly traps Death’s younger brother, Dream, another of the seven divine siblings known as The Endless who oversee aspects of human existence including desire and despair, fate, destruction and delirium. After 70 years of imprisonment, Dream finally escapes, embarking on a quest to recover his lost Objects of Power and rebuild his realm, the world of sleep and imagination called The Dreaming.
Apart from Tabu, the voice cast of the Hindi version also has talented actors such as Vijay Varma (Lord Morpheus/Dream), Manoj Bajpayee (Dr Destiny), Adarsh Gourav (John Constastine), Kubbra Sait (Death), Tillotama Shome (Calliope), Neeraj Kabi (Lucifer) and Sushant Divgikar (Desire).
Tabu, known for films such as ‘Chandni Bar’, ‘Andhadhun’, ‘The Namesake’ and ‘Maqbool’, said the Audible team approached her for the project in 2020 but things got delayed. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This (project) needed a lot more actors and a really big edit and so we all decided to wait. When everything started opening up, we started recording.” Describing the storytelling as an “extensive and extensive” process, Tabu said the entire voice cast meant well.
“I was mostly concerned about whether Neil would like it or not. So, apart from the Audible team, I have to get the go-ahead from the author. Since Neil narrated the English version himself, I I had big shoes to fill, so I had to be constantly informed if there was something that didn’t fit the narrative, if something didn’t turn out as the story required… I also wanted to put my own spin on it, take a bit of freedom,” she said. .
She also called the method of recording audio a “very lonely” task as one sits alone in a studio, reading the lines without any visual stimulus.
“You don’t know how it goes until you hear it in full with the other characters and give the sound and the music. It’s hard to judge for yourself,” Tabu said.
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