Jaideep Ahlawat: ‘Gangs of Wasseypur Was My First Knock On the Doors of Hindi Cinema’ | Exclusive

It has been 10 years since Gangs of Wasseypur released in theatres in India, and changed what we perceived about cinema, and about what the Indian audience prefer to watch on the big screen. The Anurag Kashyap film also helped the audience, and filmmakers realise the immense potential that actors like Jaideep Ahlawat, Pankaj Tripathi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui had. Now, as the film completes a decade, Jaideep Ahlawat, opened up about what the film meant to him, and the experience of shooting it in an exclusive interview with us.

Talking about the film that has achieved a cult status, Jaideep said, “I always say that Gangs Of Wasseypur was my first knock on the doors of Hindi cinema, jaha bohot saare logon ne pehli baar yeh feel kiya that there is an actor around jinko aap try kar sakte ho (where many people felt for the first time that there is an actor around who can be cast). Woh film bohot special rahi hamesha se, aur aj bhi utni special hai mere life mein. Length wise woh role zyada bada nahi tha, par mujhe lagta hai ki acchi writing ka ya acche direction kay ahi khubsurat hissa hota hai ki woh length k upar zyada depend karta nahi hai. Uska impact jo jaana chahiye tha woh gaya. (The film has been special always, even now it’s a special film to me. Length wise, my role wasn’t that big but that’s the beauty of good writing and good direction that length of the role doesn’t matter. The created the impact that it was supposed to create). I’m thankful to the Almighty, and to the entire Wasseypur team- writers, directors, co-actors and everyone ki woh film logon tak pohochi and definitely uska hissa hona apne aap me lucky part tha (that the film reached the audience and definitely, being a part of the film was lucky). So yeah, it’s been 10 years of Wasseypur!”

When we asked how the actor prepped for the part of Shahid Khan in the film, he admitted that at that point in time, he did not have much ‘samajh’ or understanding. “I was in very safe hands of Anurag Kashyap. He knew exactly what he wanted to get from me. I did not think much as to how I wanted to play the character. People often ask me how I understood the life of a coal mine worker. I lived in a village in my initial years, I have cultivated in my farmland with my own hands for a long time. So the effort you put is the same- when a farmer cultivates and when a labourer works in a mine. So I took it at field level, and the rest was amazing writing, and Anurag Kashyap. These two made what Shahid Khan was,” Jaideep quipped.

Jaideep Ahlawat portrayed the character of Shahid Khan in the film, the notorious dacoit and Sardar Khan’s father. It is his plot to go against Ramadhir Singh was uncovered, and he was killed by Singh. It started the chain of events that we see in Gangs of Wasseypur, spanning around two films.

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