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Since 1st March, 1999
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She’s a hungry heroine

Being Tapas Paul’s daughter hasn’t brought her a flood of films. But after two releases, Sohini Paul is slowly making her mark as an actress to reckon with. A t2 chat…

You are sporting a new look. How have you lost weight and why?

I needed to lose weight. Everyone was telling me to. Everyone wants to look good and so do I. Also because I am in a profession that needs me to stay in shape. I am following a high-protein, low-carb diet. I have five small meals and I work out. I hit the gym for weight-lifting and strength training. I have lost about 15kg in eight months!

How serious are you about a career in Tollywood?

I am very, very serious. It’s all that I am thinking, eating, sleeping and dreaming of now. I am trying my best to build a base in this industry. I have a long way to go.

What does one need in order to be a heroine in Tollywood?

I think whether it’s a commercial film or any other film, you need to know how to act. There are many who don’t look gorgeous but can act convincingly. I have realised one thing — it’s not what you think about yourself or what image you want to create, it’s about what the audience thinks of you. It’s about how you are registered in their heads. I am trying to reach there. Being able to run around trees and sport gaudy make-up is also important. The audience has to like you in all of it, only then can one be successful.

How do you see yourself — as a heroine or a character actor?

Both. A heroine can also be a character actor. I was a heroine in Jackpot, while I did a character role in Bow Barracks Forever. I consider myself a heroine who is ready to do all kinds of roles.

What kind of feedback have you got after Jackpot?

Jackpot got very good reviews. So many people told me that they have liked my work. Tonyda (Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury) has complimented me, so has Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh). These compliments have only humbled me and motivated me to work better.

Being a star kid, things must have been easier for you...

I don’t think having an acting background matters much nowadays. I think it is a disadvantage to be born a star kid because when we enter the industry our first competitors are our star parents. The competition with contemporaries begins much later. I don’t take my background for granted. I have a surname and I am proud of it but ultimately it’s my work that will speak for me.

What’s the flip side of being your father’s daughter?

When I was getting into the industry, I knew there was a lot of expectations riding on me. I had to deal with that. When star kids do good work, people say it’s okay, it’s expected. But when they make one mistake, there are 20 fingers pointing at them. You don’t get credit for anything. But I love this industry.

Which Tolly directors do you want to work with?

Everyone. I am very greedy. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with the likes of Anjan Dutt and Kaushik Ganguly. I have learnt a lot.

Any offers starring you and your father?

Nothing as yet. But I would love to have him as my co-star.

Have you thought of campaigning for your father (the Trinamul candidate from Krishnagar?

No, never.

My fave Tapas Paul films:
Dadar Kirti, Bhalobasha Bhalobasha, Gurudakshina, Uttara

MY Fave Baba’s heroines:
Chumki aunty (Debasree Roy) and Madhuri Dixit

My hobbies:
I love reading fiction, listening to music and catching up with friends

MY dream role:
I want to work in a film where I play the central character, something like Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich


Kushali Nag

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