To most people, she is a woman on top. To me, she is a woman on the rise. Five minutes into our talk and you can see the adjectives in flesh – intelligent, engaged, self-confident, compassionately responsive to others, and prone to joyful bursts of laughter. That’s Paoli Dam. She is quite petite. Dressed in denims and her black shirt with ruffled hair, Paoli greets me with a delicate handshake and a smile to die for. One look at her and you could make out she’s not from Mumbai. There’s nothing fake about Paoli. She isn’t wearing any make up to impress. She is as real a woman can get: straight up, no bull sh** talks and invigorating. She has got a dusky complexion but still a sexy one. After her visceral vengeance in Hate Story, she may possibly be one of Bollywood’s newest sizzling sensation and the screen’s most alluring presence. So it is no surprise that the industry will come knocking on her door sooner or later. On screen, Paoli is a lot of different women all in one but off screen, in the last forty eight hours she is indeed the object of desire. Presenting you Paoli Dam’s ‘REAL STORY’.
“My mother never wanted me to see movies as a kid but she was the one who pushed me into acting”
I never expected to be an actor or ever dreamt of being one. As a kid I used to watch movies at home like every other kid. My father and mother were a bit strict. I recall I was in school when Aamir’s Dil had released. My mother wanted me to concentrate on study. I was kept away from that movie. Post school, I used to do a lot of theatre in Kolkata too and to my shock, ironically it was my mother who wanted me to join movies later on.
“My first crush was a Brazilian footballer Bebeto”
My first crush was not an actor from Bollywood but a footballer. He is a Brazilian footballer. I loved Bebeto. I loved Romario too. I am a huge Brazil fan. It’s strange but it’s true. I love football.
“My friends and family have visited many theatres in Kolkata to check the reaction and they are happily surprised”
My friends have seen the film and have liked it. My family has seen it too and they love it. They’ve seen me in Bengali films before but this for them was ‘masala’ types. They’ve seen audiences whistling and cheering. My friends and family have visited many theatres in Kolkata to check the reaction and they are happily surprised. They do criticise me too. My mother criticises me like hell (laugh) but for the first time she didn’t after watching Hate Story.
“Hate Story is a brave move on my part rather than a bold move”
Hate Story is a brave move on my part rather than a bold move. It is risky but I love it like that. I am an actor and I think an actor should portray the complex of roles possible. Playing Kavya Krishnan was complex. But having said that, I wouldn’t say that I am too proud. I am happy I’d say. It’s too early to say I am feeling proud because it’s nothing yet to be so proud of. In the days to come I may be one though (smiles).
“As an actor everybody wants to experiment and exploit one’s own creativity”
As an actor everybody wants to experiment and exploit one’s own creativity. I too want to do that and Hate Story is a good start. Heroines too have different types of shades. Films like Mother India, Chandni Bar, Fashion, Umrao Jaan, etc. are movies that portray women power. I am not comparing myself to them but to bag my debut movie with a strong female character is what we actresses dream of in our career. I am plain lucky, that’s all I can say.
“I am humbled and touched by all congratulatory messages coming my way”
I am getting film offers but I am still not done with Hate Story. Speaking of offers, I am doing another movie with Vikram Bhatt. It’s a two film deal that we’ve mutually agreed on. I am planning to shift here to Mumbai from Kolkata soon. I need a manager soon. I need to sign up with an agency soon. My mind is full of these things as of now and of course sweet congratulatory messages that go – ‘Paoli is a new star born’. I am humbled and touched.
“My favourite movies are Damage, Basic Instinct, DDLJ, Three Colours Blue and The Bow”
I’d love to do a role like Vidya does in Kahaani, why not? I’d like to work with all the directors in Bollywood. I wouldn’t name anyone. I am a filmoholic. I enjoy all kind of films and genres. My five best movies are Damage, Three Colours Blue, DDLJ, Basic Instinct and The Bow. I am living and surviving because of cinema.
“My favourite actors are Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Susan Sarandon”
My favourite actors are Juliette Binoche, Susan Sarandon, Scarlett Johanson, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Brad Pitt. You know, because of Hate Story I have missed out on all Oscar winning and nominated movies. I need to catch up on those as soon as.
“There was not a single moment of embarrassment in any of my love making scenes”
There was not a single moment of embarrassment in any of my love making scenes. I am an actor and I am too passionate for movies. I will do anything and everything that I like. I want to do all kind of films. I would like to do a mainstream commercial movie. I want to explore from A to Z. I don’t want my career to be monotonous.
“I’d love to work with Farhan and Ranbir in the near future”
In the recent past, I loved Rockstar, Desi Boys (laughs) and Kahaani. I have yet to see some other movies but these are the ones I’ve seen and liked. Ranbir is India’s finest actor we have. He is so subtle it’s surreal. I’d love to work with Ranbir someday. I’d also like to work with Farhan Akhtar. He is very unconventional and vulnerable. He has his own audience. I like that about him.