Jaideep Ahlawat has donned many hats in his career span of almost a decade. Most remembered for his role in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, he is back with his role of a cop in web-series ‘Paatal Lok’. In a conversation with Guardian 20, the actor talks about his ambitions and career plans.

Q. How was your experience in ‘Paatal Lok’?

A. It was an exemplary experience as the cast is just marvellous and working with them was a great experience. The show is really intriguing and the cast is very talented. When I read the script, the depth and journeys of each character, the way they are embroiled in their internal conflicts is very engaging. How Hathiram’s character interacts with the other characters is also quite notable. The writing is quite marvellous, as most shows use the time leniently because of the freedom OTT provides however in this case the screen time is as much as it is required to be.

Q. How is work in series different than films? What do you prefer?
A. I feel it is an incredible honour to be a part of a series that does not shy away from bringing out the dark side of these uncertain times. In my opinion, working for series does not seem as different from working in films, it is more or less the same. I feel it all depends upon the character you are depicting on-screen. When it comes to the work pattern, there’s not much difference. It is just the duration. In the time you make one series of 9-10 episodes, you can make 3 films. You get more time to see the growth of a character in a series, there’s no scope for that in films. As an actor, there’s no difference because. As soon as the director says action, an actor has to do the same work no matter if the screen is small or big.

Q. What’s your most memorable role till date?
A. The role of a RAW agent in the film ‘Raazi’ was very memorable as I had a dream to join the Indian Army, a dream which unfortunately remained unfulfilled and that role came the closest to that. I think it will always have a special place in my heart.

Q. Please tell a little about your preparation for a role.
A. As an actor, you first take a glance at the script. But when I read the script Sudip had detailed it so accurately that it was quite easy to mould myself into the mask of Hathiram’s character. Since the character is a cop in Delhi, Sudip had given me the opportunity to actually select the character’s origin so I gave him a Haranya one because I am from there and it was easier to mask the character. When I read Hathiram’s character it reminded me of my dad so small instances I took away from him like Hathiram’s walk and a lot of other things. As an actor, you take up lot of small nuances from people and induce it in your character if it feels right and that is the artist’s liberty.

Q. What are you doing these days in the lockdown?
A. I don’t watch that much of TV at all as I am not used to it so adapting to that has been new to me. I may have just seen the TV for a day since the lockdown began. I do read, stroll the internet to attain new knowledge, watch some old shows and movies to grasp and learn from them. As an actor, it is useful to watch different actors’ work.

Q. A director you want to work with.
A. There are many renowned directors that I want to work with such as Imtiyaz Ali, Dibakar, Vishal Bhardwaj, and list goes on.