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Is Schwarzenegger a better actor in Hindi?

We’ve got to give it up to The Guardian for landing these interviews with the real unsung heroes of Hollywood: actors who dub films for foreign release. A few things we learned:

  • Ellen Pompeo is the poor man’s Renée Zellweger, even in Italy
    Giuppy Izzo, Italy’s voice of Renée Zellweger, also does the Grey’s Anatomy star. “The only actor I’ve both dubbed and met is Ellen Pompeo,” she says. “She came up and hugged me at a conference in Milan in the summer.”
  • The French are f’in crazy
    Their Angelina Jolie, Françoise Cadol, leaves me speechless: “Sometimes my home phone will ring and when I say ‘hello’ there will be a sharp intake of breath at the other end. I know immediately it’s a dubbing fan who has got hold of my number. Once a woman rang me and started gasping. Then after a silence, she said: ‘Sorry, I’m just so emotional at hearing you, I can’t speak, I’ll have to call back.’… I respect people’s reasons for wanting to contact me, but I don’t send out photos.”
  • Looks matter, even in voice-over; M:I:III had “a big range of emotions;” Tom Cruise’s nickname in Cantonese is “Atang”
    Ren Wei, the voice of Cruise in China, is full of insight (or somethin’): “I guess I was chosen to voice the Tom Cruise role in Mission: Impossible III because my age and physique are similar to his…. It was very intense and I had to cover a big range of emotions. In the fighting scenes, it was all ‘Get down, get down! Go, go!’ Then there were romantic moments when his voice breaks up as he tells his wife how much he loves her. I had to watch the original English version time and time again to get the feeling right.”
  • There is a reason to watch new Eddie Murphy and Will Smith films…in India
    Pawan Kalra, who also dubs Arnold Schwarzenegger, reveals “It is hardest with black actors like Eddie Murphy and Will Smith. They are not only very funny but they speak very, very fast. Trying to street talk quickly in Hindi is extremely tough. After two days your mouth gets really tired.”
  • Claudia Motta brings it on for Kirsten Dunst in Mexico
    “The problem is that distributors don’t put us in the credits,” Motta says. “Suppose Kirsten Dunst thought, ‘Gosh, how nice I sound in Spanish.’ She wouldn’t have known who the voice belonged to.”

Originally posted November 3 2006 — 4:59 PM EST

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