She is as bold as one can get. But Paoli Dam, who did a full frontal nudity scene in Bengali movie Chatrak last year, says boldness is all in the head.
"What is bold for you may not be bold for me. Boldness is a state of mind," Paoli, now the lead actress of Bollywood film Hate Story, said to be topped with dollops of sex and violence, told IANS in an interview.
No wonder she picks roles that most other actresses would think about twice before giving the nod to.
"As an actor I am choosy about the script and the projects that I do. But when I take a project, I don't have any dilemma about it," said Paoli, who plays a sex worker in Hate Story, which released Friday.
"I want to do good cinema with good directors and banners. Script matters to me. I am a newcomer and different people have their own way of growing. I don't want to compare myself with anyone. For me bold is beautiful in its own way," she added.
Her parents aren't complaining of her choices either.
"Hate Story is my first Bollywood launch. My parents and friends are very happy about it. I have been bought up as an individual and my parents respect my decision (to do bold films). I have my own individuality and, besides, I am an actress," she said.
"For me, Hate Story is about performance and it showcases the power of women. Yes, there are bold scenes in the film, but it has been shot aesthetically," added Paoli.
Hate Story, being touted as an 'erotic thriller', is directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Vikram Bhatt. The movie, about the transformation of a simple middle class girl to a sex worker to seek revenge, has released with an A certificate.
Paoli plays the lead role of Kaavya, a journalist.
"I had got a call from Vikram who offered me this role. I know Vikram is a sensible director; I liked his script as it's a very powerful role. It's a female-oriented film and I had a lot of space to perform.
"My character is shown as a confident and a very today's girl. The story is about revenge with a bold concept," she said.
Paoli went out of the way to shed 10 kg for the role, which marks her foray into the Hindi film industry.
"I have shed 10 kg for this film. When I had come to Mumbai, I weighed 55 kg. But Vikram asked me to shed weight. He said the script demanded a lean and thin girl.
"I went on strict diet and I used to work out thrice a day. Finally I managed to shed the extra kilos and came down to 45 kg," said the 31-year-old.