Paoli Dam insists on underplaying the sex symbol tag that has become her USP ever since she made her Bollywood debut with 'Hate Story' earlier this year. "I am an actor and my job is to do roles of different dimensions. 'Hate Story' had a strong role, a different kind of role from what you mostly get to see in mainstream films. If my next film does not require skin show, I will not do it," says the dusky Bong beauty, clearly keen to shed the "hot star" tag 'Hate Story' fetched her.
Paoli spoke to Mail Today on the sidelines of the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa on Sunday, when her latest Bangla film, 'Elar Chaar Adhyay', based on Rabindranath Tagore's novel 'Chaar Adhyay', was screened. "This is my first role based on a classic, and that too Tagore. I went through numerous workshops and rehearsals to get Ela's body language and accent right. It was a difficult experience, but satisfying because I got to play out a Tagore heroine, and Tagore sure knew how to add an extra dimension to the women he created," she says.
Clearly excited about her latest arthouse sojourn, the girl from Kolkata says she was looking forward to working in the Bappaditya Bandopadhyay- directed Elar Chaar Adhyay for reasons more than her role."Chaar Adhyay is Tagore's last novel, perhaps his most difficult one. It mixes drama and romance with revolution amidst the politics of pre- Independent India of the 1940s. Ela was a girl in a cocoon who wanted to work for freedom rather than stay at home and cook. That zeal to do something different gives her character a contemporary universal twist," she says.
Dividing her time between Bengali films and Bollywood, she does not have much time left at hand for a lot more."I have started shooting for Vikram Bhatt's upcoming film, 'Ankur Aruna Murder Case', where I play a Bengali lawyer named Kajoli Sen. The film is a courtroom thriller based on a real- life incident," she says.
She points out her new Bollywood outing should silence all detractors who look at her as nothing more than a sex symbol. "Vikram's new film is based on a real incident, so I needed to do some research for my role. It let me try an act that is totally away from anything I have done so far. I guess I have been lucky to get roles in Bengali and Hindi films that have let me prove I am here for the challenge of variety," she concludes.