Jaideep Ahlawat: A work like Paatal Lok could have been offered to me earlier

And with Raazi, I entered that door. I left a footprint with it. It is subdued and has an undercurrent to it. What’s your next project? Becoming the character you are playing might work for some, but for me, it doesn’t. With a well-written role, it becomes simpler to design and understand your character. But, it was his performance as RAW agent Khalid Mir in Meghna Gulzar directorial Raazi which compelled filmmakers and audience to take note of his talent. In a recent chat with indianexpress.com, Jaideep Ahlawat got candid about getting into the skin of Haathi Ram, and his journey in Bollywood so far. There’s a film called Khaali Peeli, and a short film for Netflix which I have done with Karan Johar and Shashank Khaitan. Is it that these roles came to you or do you have some fondness towards playing characters with a darker shade? (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)
If we look at your filmography, your roles are quite villainous. Now, after almost twelve years in the industry, Ahlawat is set to play a hero in Amazon Prime Video’s original Paatal Lok. So, Sudip sir had written a well-defined character and my job was just to sketch why this man Haathi Ram (his character in the show) is the way he is. Sometimes just looking at him was working for me because he was so truthful towards Hathoda Tyagi. There’s just a reflection of the character in you. It took me a moment to tell myself, ‘he is your co-actor, you can’t do that.’
You have got to work with some of the finest talents in your films. In the initial days, you only want to put across the word that you can act and you can do it well. Haathi Ram has a different kind of romance with his wife. Though he believes he could have been cast in a lead role much before, he is immensely grateful to writer Sudip Sharma for this opportunity. That is the beauty of an actor who surrenders to the situation. There were no ways I could have said no to it. What is happening with Paatal Lok, could have happened earlier. Recently in a chat with Neeraj Kabi, he said its important for an actor to get entirely into the shoes of the character you are playing. How did you prepare for it? Did it help you in enhancing your craft? I just had to create a background on why he talks, walks and behaves in a certain way. For an actor, his job becomes easy, when his character is described well on the paper. You should work towards understanding the psyche of your character and then play it. To do that, you need to live that character for a longer duration. Sometimes you are too desperate for work that you cannot decide if you should do a role or not. Jaideep Ahlawat has played several characters that have brought him critical acclaim (Gangs of Wasseypur, Command, Gabbar Is Back). Abhishek (Banerjee) and I know each other for quite some time now. I believe you do not become the character you are playing. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd I am not ready to accept that people could not have faith in my acting. Moreover, this project had good, hard-working people associated with it. #PaatalLok
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What did you take away from your character in Paatal Lok? Many actors become insecure and get personal, which is not right. Sometimes I felt them so deeply that I started taking the guy who plays my son Siddharth as my real son. While some of these things I picked from the script itself, some I just researched and discussed with the team. I felt angry when he did something wrong. (laughs). Every actor has his own approach towards acting. It’s a very interesting and well-written story. What is your take on it? I am happy with the journey but some things could have happened sooner. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. A work like Paatal Lok could have been offered to me earlier because I had established I can act well long ago. What is it about Paatal Lok that convinced you? But, eventually, it changed with Commando, Gabbar Is Back, Raazi and Lust Stories as the writers and directors gained faith in me. kya duty aur society ke beech mein sach dhoond payega hathi ram? And, when you are from the outside of the industry, it becomes a little difficult to put the word across. I would say, with Gangs of Wasseypur I knocked the correct door of Bollywood. Then, Sudip (Sharma) sir gave me the lead role. Written by Arushi Jain
| New Delhi |

Updated: May 15, 2020 9:51:38 am

Jaideep Ahlawat plays the lead role in Amazon Prime Video’s Paatal Lok. Abhishek Banerjee and Jaideep Ahlawat in a still from Paatal Lok. If I will mention everything, you will call me weird. From the trailer, it seems your character has several layers to it. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. I am not saying I could have done romantic roles like Shah Rukh Khan, but, I was perfectly fit for my kind of stories. You might feel it’s not there, but it is. In my case, you will see Haathi Ram through Jaideep. I think I didn’t get anyone like Sudip sir who believed that I can be a hero too (laughs). You may get closer to it but you do not lose yourself. Off the set, we have a good equation and this bonding between us, helped us to develop a scene in a better way. Sometimes I feel Raazi is a more important film in my career because it opened all the doors for me. My first two characters had negative shades and the industry noticed me in those only. In my understanding, merging an actor and character completely is not right. Some emotions I explored here were new to me. More than good co-actors, if you have understanding co-actors, it becomes easier to relate with them. Do you think you have got the kind of recognition you deserve for your work? In what way did Gangs of Wasseypur impact your career? I always maintain a gap between myself and my character because if I will go so deep into it, it will get difficult for me to come back. And, Abhishek Banerjee said an actor should stay separate from the role he is playing. So, I think this is what happened with me. Also read | Paatal Lok actor Abhishek Banerjee: Was unsure of pulling off Hathoda Tyagi
How has your journey been in the industry till now?