Sensation queen Poonam Pandey is done with creating shock value. After Nasha for her next film to be directed by Ajit Rajpal (who wrote Nasha), Poonam won’t shed clothes nor make attention-grabbing headlines by threatening to strip.
Poonam says she will be wearing sarees throughout the film.
“I am inspired by Smita Patil in Subah and Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivum Sundaram. A lot of our very big actresses carry of the saree so beautifully. But I feel I can carry it off with the simplicity of Smitaji andthe sensuality of Zeenatji.”
The film that Rajpal will direct would feature Poonam as a semi-rural girl.
“I will be draping the saree in a completely new style. It would be as innovative as Saira Banuji’s look in that old film Shagird. And no more skin show for me.”
In what must rank as her most candid confession Ms Pandey told this writer, “All that sensationalism was just a marketing strategy. That isn’t really me. I was a girl with no background in the entertainment industry. I needed to get noticed. I think I succeeded in that.”
Now for her film career Poonam has other plans. “Those who have seen Nasha are surprised by how little skin-show there is in the film. Even the love-making is negligible. I was attracted to the script of Nasha because it was an emotional subject. And it gave me a chance to act.”
Poonam surprises me by admitting she is a trained actress. “I’ve gone to acting school. I’ve done theatre. I always wanted to be an actress. But I got embroiled in this whole image created by my marketing team. Let me say, I’m very proud of that image. If I am noticed and if I get attention it’s because of that image.”
But now Poonam desires a different image for cinema. “If I am doing cinema I can’t be doing more of the same thing I’m known for. I need to move on. Nasha was not a skin-fest.”
For her next film Poonam is on the look-out for an even more performance-oriented role. “I am getting lots of offers. But I want to be very careful about my second film. I believe the second film is far more career-making than the first.”
She now wants to work with high-profile mainstream directors like Imtiaz Ali, Rohit Shetty and Shoojit Sircar.
The offers coming Poonam’s way are largely require her to shed clothes. “I want people to recognize me for my acting. I don’t want to do sexy roles just for the sake of being in movies. I already have popularity as a pinup girl. If I am doing movies I better take my career forward.”
Pausing to ponder over the perks of being Poonam Pandey the shocker-turned-actress remarks, “My film debut became a success in spite of all the politics that it had to face. Big production houses made sure my film didn’t get a multiplex release. In spite of this Nasha got an audience through single theatres. I think I’ve proved my point.”
Then comes the Pandey-esque punchline. “I see more politics in the Mumbai film industry than in Delhi’s political circles.”