Mumbai, Jun 2 (PTI) 'Unreal, amazing and totally surprising,' is how Jaideep Ahlawat describes life post his breakout show 'Paatal Lok'.
The actor hopes the Amazon Prime Video series will open more avenues for him to break stereotypes with challenging roles. Written and created by Sudip Sharma, 'Paatal Lok' features Jaideep as a washed-out Inspector Hathiram Chaudhary who lands the case of a lifetime when four suspects are nabbed in the assassination attempt of a prime time journalist.
'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 told PTI.
The actor said a popular director told him that beneath all the layers, Hathiram was essentially a romantic guy and wondered why someone hadn't seen Jaideep in romantic roles.
'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 first got noticed in Anurag Kashyap's 2012 crime-drama 'Gangs of Wasseypur'.
Though he kept featuring in big films, including Shah Rukh Khan's 'Raees', Akshay Kumar's 'Gabbar is Back' and Kamal Haasan-starrer 'Vishwaroopam', he got further acclaim only six years later with 'Raazi'.
The actor said he didn't feel bogged down that success of such magnitude 'blessed' him only recently.
'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.' The struggle phase, of doing roles and films in the hope that it would be noticed is something Jaideep said every actor -- from Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui to Pankaj Tripathi-- has gone through.
'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.' It's Jaideep's inherent will to win which finds a resonance even in his 'Paatal Lok' character.
'Hathiram 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. Hathiram 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,' Jaideep added.
The 42-year-old actor said the best part about the impact of 'Paatal Lok' has been that the audience is now going back and discovering his past work, including his cameo in films like Imtiaz Ali's 'Rockstar'.
'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,' he added. PTI J SHD SHD