Jaideep Ahlawat is basking in the glory of his recent appearance in the Amazon Prime Video web series Paatal Lok is bringing his way. “Unreal, amazing and totally surprising,” is how he is describing the stardom and accolades coming his way past the show. He is hoping that the show will open more avenues for him to break stereotypes with challenging roles in different genres like comedy, romance and action. In Paatal Lok, Jaideep plays the role of washed-out cop Hathi Ram Chaudhary who lands a case of a lifetime when four suspects are nabbed in the assassination attempt of a high-profile journalist.
Talking to a news agency, Jaideep said, “Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the compliments, but the happiness is radiating. I hope this gets me seen in a new light. I hope many think that I can also do vulnerable parts and not macho, antagonist parts in which they’ve seen me.” Jaideep revealed that a popular director told him that beneath all the layers, his character Hathi Ram was essentially a romantic guy and wondered why Jaideep has not been cast in romantic roles yet. To this, he said, “I told him ‘please write, I’ll do it!’ I hope people see many new characters in me. I am ready to work hard, do comedy, romance and action. Just give me that trust. I am just too hungry right now.”
Jaideep has been an old warhorse for quite some time now with stellar acts in several films over the years but it was headlining Paatal Lok that earned him a place in the sun. Jaideep played the formidable villain in Vidyut Jammwal starrer Commando as well as Shahid Khan (Manoj Bajpayee’s father) in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. He was further seen in Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar Is Back, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam and Alia Bhatt’s Raazi.
Talking about his the appreciation, he said, “They say, you don’t get anything before time and more than fate. I truly believe that and have never felt the need to fight it out, to say ‘why this didn’t happen earlier.’ It’s happening now and I feel good. The work has reached far and wide. The belief you see now in people’s eyes is a reminder that what you were working hard towards has been accomplished. Now a new journey will begin. We all go through the phase where the work is slow and aren’t sure if what we are doing will have returns in the future or if it’ll reach people at all. You can’t fight that. All my work, wherever it reached, to all the important people who saw, was always appreciated. Thankfully no one said I’ve done an awful job.”
Talking about his character and what appeals to the audience, Jaideep said, “Hathi Ram got so much love because it’s a story of every person who feels lost in some form of a system. Be it from any field, journalism, corporate, it’s just the uniform that’s different. The feeling of being helpless remains the same... The same goes for the industry as well. But you can’t be bitter about it. Change will happen only when you become positive. Hathi Ram reached a stage where he will die but give his all. Everyone at some point feels this and hence people have been able to relate with him so much.”
He further said that the best part about Paatal Lok was that people are going back and discovering his small roles in other films, including his cameo in films like Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar. He said, “It really feels good. To see that even those works, which you felt were good but perhaps never reached them, are being noticed. I had done Rockstar while I was doing Wasseypur. I really wanted to work with Imtiaz. They were looking for someone from Haryana for that part and I was told that it’s a blink-and-miss part. But I told him (Ali) that I’ll do anything because he’s such a fine director. I worked for three-four days and it’s amazing that people now are going ‘oh he was here too!’ That’s the journey of an actor.”