The Dub Step


As a huge fan of Hollywood action cinema, a young Gippy Grewal would watch them back to back. But there was always one glitch. "I had to repeatedly rewind just to catch the dialogue. They would speak so fast that it was almost incomprehensible," he says.

Grewal speaks on the behalf of fellow Punjabis and cinephiles who "crave" for Hollywood action and drama but are unable to follow the dialogues. When he got a chance to dub in Punjabi for the new Hollywood film, A Good Day to Die , better known as Die Hard 5, Grewal jumped at the opportunity. "The first time Fox Star Studios called me to dub a Hollywood film in Punjabi, I didn't take it seriously. I was swamped with work and I find dubbing the most difficult and tedious part of the filmmaking process," he says. Till then, Grewal had no idea they were calling for one of his favourite film series, Die Hard. "We have all grown up on a Die Hard diet, on Bruce Willis's daredevilry in it. So, I grabbed the project," says Grewal, who was present at the red carpet premiere of Die Hard 5 at DT Cinemas on this Thursday.

Claiming this to be one of the first large-scale, hardcore Hollywood movies to be dubbed in Punjabi, Grewal says he took the film on one condition — they would not make it sound funny because Punjabi as a language can have that effect in translation. "I was assured that it will be a serious script," informs the actor.

Grewal went in thinking he'd get to dub Willis's part, but was instead handed over another role, that played by Jai Courtney. Although the Die Hard franchise revolves around Willis, in Die Hard 5, Courtney plays one of the main characters as Willis's onscreen estranged son and crime fighter. "He has more sequences and scenes. They did audition me for Willis's voice too, but there is an age difference and mine suited Courtney's character more," says Grewal.

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