In his latest outing "Inspector Avinash", Randeep Hooda once again plays a police officer and the actor says people in uniform always make for "great cinematic characters".
Based on the life of Uttar Pradesh cop Avinash Mishra, the crime thriller series revolves around the titular character who is on a mission to stop the crimes in the state.
"Inspector Avinash", Hooda said, is a novel addition to other cop shows streaming online.
"Cops always make for great cinematic characters because of the nature of their job and the circumstances that they operate in. 'Inspector Avinash' is a very different show. It has its own flavour, its 'rasa'.
"I'm very grateful to have got the opportunity to play this part. Mr Avinash Mishra in real life is larger-than-life yet sweet and humble and has got a great way of stating things," the 46-year-old actor told PTI.
As someone who has previously played a police officer in films such as "Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai", "Jannat 2", "Kick", "Baaghi 2", and "John Day", Hooda said the portrayal of cops on screen has become "more real".
"We have gone more into their personal lives in some shows which makes them more human. It's not just a uniform, it's a person who inhabits that uniform. And that person is going through his own personal journey and at work.
"That humanisation of cops has really led to better understanding that they also come from the same culture and country. I have always tried to humanise all cop characters I've played and this show was a shot in my arm," he added.
"Inspector Avinash" is directed by Neerraj Pathak of Sunny Deol-starrer "Bhaiaji Superhit" fame and produced by Jio Studios.
Hooda said he was drawn to the series courtesy the script penned by Pathak, whom he also likes as a person.
"And when I met Avinash ji, I found out about his service to the nation. I realised what a different, colourful character he was... Nothing like I had played before. I jumped at the opportunity. I spent two years working on this project and spent a lot of time with Avinash ji. I also spoke to his family, peers, and seniors. They helped me put real context to what I was doing.
"The sweetness, the 'dabang'-ness, the swagger, the accent... My character was all inspired by him. It was really helpful. I'm grateful to him to give me so much time and help me bring this to life," said the Rohtak-born actor.
In the show, Hooda's Inspector Avinash is seen breaking the fourth wall, which means addressing the viewer directly, and the actor said he was "very apprehensive" about it.
"And, it was Neerraj Pathak who convinced me to do it. As an actor, you are usually unaware of the camera, that's how acting works. But then to embrace it, look right into it and talk to the audience directly was interesting and daunting at the same time.
"I had done it in a movie (2009's 'Love Khichdi') but it was years ago. It's a technique that kind of takes the audience into confidence and gets people attached more to the character's journey," he said.
"Inspector Avinash" is an eight-episode series which is streaming free on JioCinema.
Hooda's upcoming projects are "Swatantra Veer Savarkar", which also marks his directorial debut, "Tera Kya Hoga Lovely", and "Pachhattar Ka Chhora".