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Had not planned for Ayushmann to voice a female: Raaj Shaandilyaa on his Dream Girl

The director shed light on how workshops were conducted to get Ayushmann Khurrana to voice Pooja for the upcoming comedy.

Shriram Iyengar

Having proved himself as a writer of comedy with Comedy Circus on television and Welcome Back (2015), Freaky Ali (2016), and Jabariya Jodi (2019) on the big screen, Raaj Shaandilyaa is set to make his debut as a director with Dream Girl.

The film has already got a buzz going with Ayushmann Khurrana's voice changing into the sultry Pooja as he tries to make a buck on the telephone. While the transformation has delighted everyone, Shaandilyaa revealed that it was not planned. 

At a media interaction, the writer-director revealed that he had not planned to use Khurrana's voice for Pooja. Shaandilyaa said, "It was through a workshop. We had never really planned for him to make the voice. We had thought of dubbing a female voice for the character." 

There was, the director said, only one problem: "The female voice sounded too natural, too real for a man trying to imitate a woman. If it had been that natural, people would have caught it as fake. So, we decided to ask Ayushmann Khurrana to try. We then tried to modulate the voice a little, and finally found Pooja's voice." 

Praising the actor, Shaandilyaa said, "He is fantastic. Fantastic. We signed him on before Badhaai Ho (2018) and Andhadhun (2018). Now, he has hit a purple patch. It is a different experience to work with him. We knew each other before as well, from our television days, but had never had the opportunity to interact closely." 

Dream Girl features Khurrana playing a man who imitates a woman on the phone at a call centre and ends up landing in trouble because of this very job. The film marks Shaandilyaa's directorial debut. 

Speaking of the project, the writer-director said, "I am enjoying it, but the pressure to deliver is always there." 

Dream Girl also features Nushrat Bharucha and Annu Kapoor, and will be released in theatres on 13 September.