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Was scared as Ajeeb Daastaans role was extremely challenging, says Jaideep Ahlawat

The actor stars alongside Fatima Sana Shaikh and Armaan Ralhan in the short Majnu, which has been directed by Shashank Khaitan.

Jaideep Ahlawat with director Shashank Khaitan and co-stars Fatima Sana Shaikh and Armaan Ralhan

Our Correspondent

Last year, Jaideep Ahlawat bowled over audiences with his performance as the upright police officer Hathiram Chaudhary in Amazon Prime’s Paatal Lok (2020). The actor, who usually plays tough guys, said he was a bit hesitant about accepting a part in the upcoming Netflix anthology Ajeeb Daastaans (2021).

Talking about his initial reaction to the script of director Shashank Khaitan's segment, which is titled Majnu, Ahlawat said, “I thought the story was complicated and I was scared as it was an extremely challenging role, unlike anything I have done before. I remember when Shashank handed over the script for me to read — I took nearly two days to finish reading the material and then I spoke to him about what he thought of the character to gain more clarity as I still wasn’t sure.”

In the segment, Ahlawat plays Babloo, a thuggish political leader, who thrives on exercising power and exacting vengeance. His character is extremely possessive towards his new bride, played by Fatima Sana Shaikh, but doesn’t love her.

“Babloo’s character is a thug but is totally confined within himself and that makes him very complicated, not easy to read. The challenge is what made me eventually take it up and play it to the best of my ability,” he added.

The anthology also comprises shorts directed by Raj Mehta, Neeraj Ghaywan, and Kayoze Irani and features a stellar cast that includes Konkona Sen Sharma, Aditi Rao Hydari, Shefali Shah, Manav Kaul, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Abhishek Banerjee, and Inayat Verma.

Ajeeb Daastaans is due to be released on 16 April on Netflix.

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