Paoli Dam on playing Paoli Sen in Palan
Palan sees Paoli as a quintessential next-door Bengali woman, with whom real-life Paoli relates to an extent.
Kno n for her impeccable acting skills and a varied oeuvre, Paoli Dam is seen playing Paoli Sen in Kaushik Ganguly’s film, Palan. A tribute to the legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen and his film Kharij, Palan sees Paoli as a quintessential next-door Bengali woman, with whom real-life Paoli relates to an extent. “It’s an honour to work with Kaushik Ganguly and do a film that is somewhere related to Mrinal Sen,” says Paoli, with whom we had a tête-a-tête. Excerpts:
Tell us about your role in Palan.
Paoli Sen is very different from the characters I have played so far. I couldn’t realise it while reading the script or filming for it, but the character struck me hard while dubbing for it. It is so simple, absolutely devoid of any complexities — all she believes in is a simple life, which is my motto as well. She has the solutions to everyone’s problems, and she fights to keep the family together. She is a very positive character.
You worked with Kaushik Ganguly for the first time. How was it?
It was an amazing experience, and Kaushik Ganguly has a very fun team. The moment we reached the sets, we used to quickly decide what to have for lunch, snacks, and other meals. Once that was set, we were sorted (laughs). And Kaushik is a wonderful person to work with — very calm, rarely uses a microphone, and conveys everything personally with a lot of clarity. He knows exactly what he wants and is such a brilliant actor himself.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of Solang Valley will release on October 27. Tell us about the same.
I cannot really reveal much about them yet, but yes, it's a dream-come-true for me. The story sees a rich man who is dead, a town full of suspects, narratives filled with lies and an innocent convict. Now, Charlie navigates through the mystery with every face hiding a secret to watch out for. Also, it has a multi-starrer cast. It was such a memorable experience! You keep getting good roles in Hindi projects.
What keeps you at the top of your game?
I ventured out earlier than others and worked simultaneously in the Hindi, Konkani, and Bengali industries, but then again, I look for meatier roles, unusual content, and interesting perspectives, but with goodness. It’s not the screen time that matters while choosing a script. It’s all about how impactful my role is in context to the storyline Even the late Irrfan Khan had very little screen time in Haider, but all of us still remember Roohdaar, don’t we? I think, as an actor, your heart, soul and body, should be accepting of the character you are playing. That is how I approach a character. I stop thinking about what my real self feels — I try to get into the skin of the character in all ways possible. I want to play varied and layered characters and I don’t want to get stuck playing the same roles.
I have Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s Ektu Sore Bosun, an out-and-out comedy film. My character is a contemporary woman in a comedy space, and you rarely get to see a character like this in movies. There is Indrani Chakrabarty’s Chhaad and I have a few filming schedules left for Pritha Chakraborty’s Paharganj Halt. There is also a new film with director Arjunn Dutta.