The second season of "Paatal Lok" will be "more complicated" than its first chapter and will shake things up, says actor Jaideep Ahlawat, who became a recognised name with his portrayal of cop Hathiram Chaudhary in the hit series.
Written and created by Sudip Sharma, the first season of the Prime Video show featured Ahlawat as a washed-out Delhi police officer who lands the case of a lifetime when four suspects are captured in the assassination attempt of a prime time journalist.
Post the series, the Rohtak-born actor has starred in diverse shows and films such as "Ajeeb Daastaans", "The Broken News", and "An Action Hero".
"What I know about 'Paatal Lok 2' is that the way I was in love with the story of the first season, season two is much more complicated, refined. I regard Sudip bhai as a very creative writer because he never tries to catch those things that have already become hits.
"(He's always like) 'Let's do something new'. I'm sure when the show will reach the audience, thoda kuch toh hilne wala hai (things will shake up for sure)" Jaideep told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of The Himalayan Film Festival (THFF) in Leh.
The actor said both second seasons of "Paatal Lok" and "The Broken News 2" are coming soon.
"In 'Broken News 2', you'll see Deepankar Sanyal (his character of senior news anchor) take a new route, you'll see more dimensions to him," he added.
The first season of "Paatal Lok", directed by Avinash Arun and Prosit Roy, arrived on the streamer in 2020 during the peak of the pandemic.
According to Jaideep, the series arriving at a time when everyone was cooped up inside their homes added to its success.
"At that time, there was no other medium for us. The whole country was sitting at home. We had no access to the big screen, what we had were OTT and TV. I think that was the big reason for this platform (streamers) to become this big. People had more time.
"I'm sure 'Paatal Lok' would have emerged a hit as it did but (under normal circumstances) it would have taken more time to get there. The time it took to take off was barely a week. I remember my life had changed within 7-10 days," he said.
The FTII graduate first got noticed as Shahid, the patriarch of the Khan family, in Anurag Kashyap's 2012 crime-drama "Gangs Of Wasseypur - Part 1". He got further acclaim six years later with "Raazi".
In between he featured in big-budget films, including "Raees", "Gabbar Is Back" and "Vishwaroopam" but it was "Paatal Lok" that shot him to fame.
Walking down the memory lane, the actor said it wasn't until "Paatal Lok" that he realised his hard work will pay off. With the series, he had a "gut feeling" they had stumbled upon something special.
"Not during 'Wasseypur'. I was too new. The team was very different, I didn't even know what was going on. But definitely while shooting for 'Paatal Lok', (I had a feeling something was happening). By that time, you have also grown as an actor.
"You also realise that you're on the right track with the kind of work that you're doing. Your gut feeling tells you. While shooting, I remember I told Sudip bhai and Avinash that even if we are able to bring whatever is just on the paper to the audience, this is going to be brilliant. But we got much more than we expected," he shared.
Many people still don't know his name, the actor said, but that's ok.
"This is a small circle (of people who know him by his name), this circle is going to get bigger. I'm sure. This journey has been quite rewarding, this journey of the past 10 years," he said.
"I don't feel bad if people don't know my name. They must be so busy in their life that they didn't feel the need to know my name. It's alright."
At the second edition of THFF, two of Jaideep's films -- "Jaane Jaan" and "Three of Us" were screened. "Three of Us", which reunites him with Arun, closed the film gala in Leh, Ladakh on Tuesday.
The actor said he has known Arun since their FTII (Pune's Film and Television Institute of India) days. The acclaimed director was one batch junior to Jaideep at the film institute.
"I have known him from his very first day at FTII. He has had a remarkable journey as a filmmaker. The bond that was created during 'Paatal Lok', deepened while working on 'Three of Us'. That same relationship is there in 'Paatal Lok' season two as well.
"'Three of Us' came to me out of the blue. He thought I was busy, which I was but he thought I might not be able to do it. He asked me 'I have a story, will you read it?' I said 'sure'. He sent it to me and nobody can say no to that script. It's such a beautiful story. I asked him 'if we can do it together?' He said he was also wondering if I had time. Then, somehow we managed those 20-22 days," he added.
Sujoy Ghosh's "Jaane Jaan" was one of the opening titles for THFF, which was screened on September 29. The Netflix film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and Vijay Varma.
During "Jaane Jaan" promotions, Kareena had said her husband, actor Saif Ali Khan told her to "to be a little more prepared" as Jaideep and Vijay, batchmates at FTII, were going to be her co-stars.
Reacting to Saif's comment, the actor praised the senior star for his "large-heartedness".
"They have worked a lot. They are big people, they have their point of view. If Saif bhai has said so, it's his large-heartedness. Good actors have come and keep coming into this profession. So, it feels good when you hear things like this but (folds his hands) let's keep moving forward," he added.