Jaideep Ahlawat felt ‘safe’ when he was offered the script of Paatal Lok and knew that as an actor, he was in the right hands. “When you are offered an amazing writing, there is no logic in denying it. The production and direction teams were very good and I realised that I would be able to do justice to my character and do something as an actor because of the writing,” he says.
The Amazon Prime Video Original will start streaming from May 15. The neo-noir web series produced by Clean Slate Films (Anushka Sharma’s production house) also stars Neeraj Kabi, Gul Panag, Abhishek Banerjee and others.
UNDERSTANDING HIS CHARACTER
Jaideep found a certain equation with Hathiram Chaudhary, the character he plays in the series, as far as relationships are concerned. “In some of the scenes, I could find my father because Hathiram’s reactions sounded like my father’s. I could therefore relate to him easily. The way he treats his work is interesting too. He has lots of responsibilities and he has his way of fulfilling them. As I continued reading, I ended up preparing more for the character. Also, you get inspired from your own life,” he says.
The makers have given attention to minute details, says Jaideep. “Sudip Sharma, the creator wanted me to gain weight so that it appears that I am not the running part of the machinery and have got stuck in my work and want a break. That’s why my character says, ‘this case is very important for me’. He is a very honest and idealistic man. He wants to prove himself,” the actor adds.
THE EXCITEMENT OF OUR EXISTENCE
There is a dialogue in the series which says that the world is divided into three worlds – on the top is swarg lok (where gods live), then comes dharti lok (where humans live) and then comes pataal lok (where bad people live). Jaideep says that the human existence becomes exciting because our world is a mix of good and bad. “Your life is not a simple, straight thread. You get to experience new things, meet all kinds of people from society, from different strata. All this is very symbolic. How do human relationships form, how do they weave in their relationships in different conditions — all this is very interesting. If you put different kinds of people in the same situation, they will react very differently,” he says.
DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY
Right now, there is lot of negativity and sadness around us due to growing number of deaths, people losing their jobs, world coming to a standstill because of the pandemic. How does he react and not let this affect him? The actor replies, “In life, some incident happens and you keep thinking about it. You find yourselves helpless that you cannot do anything about it and that makes you feel angry. When you feel weak or lachar, you feel very angry. I don’t know how I deal with that anger. Sometimes, I show that anger on someone and at times, it stays inside. But I am blessed to be an actor because I get a chance to take out that frustration and anger through my work. We cry or shout out. Many times, it so happens that during an emotional scene, we think about an incident that had touched us and automatically start crying.”
HIS 10-YEAR JOURNEY IN BOLLYWOOD
Jaideep has completed 10 years in the film industry and he says that the journey has been a mix of good and bad moments. “It’s nice that in spite of me being an outsider, there are a few people who have trusted my skills and offered me work. They are still connected with me,” he says, adding, “Sometimes, I think I could have done better had I got better opportunities but the truth is that we cannot control our lives; if we could, we could have managed Covid 19. Life takes you on its own journey. I have an important lesson from the Bhagwat Gita — ‘Our job is keep doing our duty, rest nothing is in our control’. That’s why I concentrate on my current work.”
Jaideep in an interview had mentioned that he loves dancing. So, does he miss not working in conventional Bollywood stories, dancing with actresses or romancing them?
“I definitely miss that because I know I can do different things. But not just in our industry, in other film industries too, if an actor has done a certain kind of role, people want him/her to do similar roles. If an actor succeeds in doing a certain kind of role, people are interested in seeing him or her in those kind of roles only,” says that actor who will be next seen in Khali Peeli, a Netflix original movie.
He says that there are a couple of projects which are stuck because of the lockdown and they will start shooting once everything is back to normal.