Jaideep Ahlawat on life as an actor.
The Role in Paatal Lok has opened a big league on OTT Platform?
We made this show with a lot of love, and our hard work paid off as it has reached people with the same honesty. It was a great feeling when Anurag (Kashyap), Vicky (Kaushal), Alia (Bhatt) praised me. It is really sweet of them. You need that sensibility to praise the other artist, and that is why they are the finest people, the finest artists. They like your work, and then they reach out to you and wish you. That is a great feeling.
Before Gangs of Wasseypur, did you feel like giving up at any point?
If you don’t get opportunities to prove yourself or feel better about your life, then you feel like a failure. And this even impacts your personal and professional relationships.
How Did you feel about your character of Hathiram?
When he gets this case, he rises to the occasion as he knows he is capable of doing, even if others do not. He is determined to solve the case at any cost so as not to be dubbed a failure yet again and this is his driving force. The inner as well as outer journey of the character made it a very interesting role for me.
What differentiates you from other artists in the Industry?
The benefit of good writing is that the character is well-etched. So then it comes down to how the actor can make the character more interesting by incorporating small nuances. So I go very close to my character which is what differentiates me.
How do you think the outlook towards the industry has changed in the current crisis?
I think that with the increase in our exposure as an audience, as filmmakers and as actors, our understanding of cinema has changed. It’s not necessary that everything needs to be spoon-fed to the viewer for every story. Actors today want characterisation to be believable. Even mainstream cinema is becoming content-based with strong story lines.
Do you think with the unlock there will be a shift from OTT to cinemas again?
I think it will take a long time for the shift back but it will happen.
What is the focus when you see a script?
Across all the roles, the common theme will always be the inner journey of the character. To be able to interpret each character so deeply that the acting is more felt than seen. I belong to the breed of actors for whom a single, subtle action speaks a thousand words.
How did you spend time in the lockdown?
Before the release of Pataal Lok, we were promoting the show and telling people that our show is coming up, and now, after the show started streaming. I had pain in my throat just talking about it. Now, the whole day, I am on phone, or either on Zoom, Instagram or Skype.
Otherwise I read a lot. I also watched many international films on various digital platforms. I like watching documentaries, docudramas, thrillers or some interesting shows with unique concepts shot in a unique way. I quite liked a show called Unorthodox, then web television series Hollywood, and many more. This is like an education in cinema. But I hope the lockdown ends soon.
What are your future plans?
You will have to wait to see more in depth characters for me. Khaali Peeli is my most awaited project.