Netflix series CAT: Meet Randeep Hooda’s on-screen friend Laadi, a Ludhiana boy who decided to chase his Bollywood dream

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The success of ‘CAT’, a Netflix series delving into the life of a police informer in Punjab and currently trending as the no. 1 TV show on the global OTT platform, has come as a long overdue win for Punjab’s local actors and theatre artists.

A perfect instance of how CAT has given the much-needed platform to Punjab’s local talent is Dakssh Ajit Singh, 42, a Ludhiana-based model-cum-actor who shifted to Mumbai in 2007. He essays the role of Laadi, a Punjab weightlifter who dreams to win an Olympics medal but gets framed in a drug case.

Even as Laadi is befriended by Gurnaam Singh (the police informer played by series protagonist Randeep Hooda) for his mission, their friendship turns into a real one forced by circumstances.

Punjab’s local talent Dakssh Ajit Singh, 42, is a Ludhiana-based model-cum-actor who shifted to Mumbai in 2007.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dakssh says: “I had to gain eight kg to get a bulky look to portray my role as Laadi. After starting my career as a model, working in at least 50 music videos and some Punjabi films, I had taken a long break as I was looking for something different. I was into sports in my school days, so essaying the role of a weightlifter was a dream come true. I immediately related to it because my first dream was to become an international sportsperson. Due to my family’s circumstances and lack of facilities, I couldn’t become one in real life but I gave my best to portray Laadi on screen. Earlier, I used to pursue boxing and basketball.”

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It, however, wasn’t easy for Dakssh when he took the call to move to Mumbai from Ludhiana to pursue a career in modelling and acting.

Dakssh started modelling in 2003 before moving to Mumbai in 2007.

“From a scooter mechanic to embroiderer, welder to graphic designer, I did several odd jobs before pursuing modelling and acting. After years of waiting, my work has finally gotten some recognition with CAT. A Punjabi series trending worldwide is a victory for all of us,” says Dakssh, whose father was posted as a railway cop in Ludhiana.

Born in Gumthala of Haryana and brought up in Punjab’s Ludhiana, Dakssh started modelling in 2003 before moving to Mumbai in 2007.

Dakksh, who also played a part in TV show ‘Maryada’ on Star Plus in 2010, says working closely with Randeep Hooda has given him a lifetime of experience.

CAT has been a game changer for actors like me from Punjab, says Dakssh.

“I feel really lucky to share the screen with Randeep paaji… I always admire his craft and working with him has expanded my vision as an actor,” says Dakssh, who would be next seen in a Punjabi film and a series.

“CAT has been a game changer for actors like me from Punjab who got this amazing opportunity to showcase our work. From India, Pakistan to US, Canada, UK… we are getting messages from viewers across the world,” he says.



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