Paoli Dam, one of the stars of Bengali Cinema, is a rare breed. Not only did she start in one of the smaller Indian film industries, but her striking looks threatened to keep her just as an eye-candy object. A sex scene in one of her earlier films isolated her from her traditional audience, but she kept churning out good work and new roles and broke through into national pictures.
‘Raat Baaki Hai’ is a Hindi murder mystery that she finished early April, 2021. It will air on Zee5 initially.
She was born in Kolkata, 4 October 1980. Dam trained in singing and dancing and performed in plays while at school and college. She maintained a steady acting career in television alongside earning a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Rajabazar Science College in Kolkata.
“There’s nothing better than playing a Tagore heroine – strong, fearless, upfront, challenging society’s norms,” Paoli Dam recalled about working in Bengali Cinema. “My only problem with the role was the tough period dialogue.”
While Dam’s stock in Bengali films rose, she suddenly found herself in a controversy. A five-minute sex scene featuring Dam and Anubrata Basu from Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Bengali film Chatrak was leaked online a few months after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.
Bengali audiences used to seeing Dam as a traditionally dressed Bengali woman in period films were shocked
“What I loved in Pink was the character of Amitabh Bachchan, the lawyer who being a man kept fighting for women’s right. I have been fortunate enough to have seen my father be my constant support system with an un-diminishing faith in me. Hence my role model is my father, because I have seen him do a lot of things which any other man would think twice.”