Tired of the bubbly tag associated with her, Piaa Bajpai hopes her new films will help her break the monotony

Nearly two years after the release of K.V. Anand’s Rangam (Ko in Tamil), Piaa Bajpai has moved on from her chirpy portrayal of Saro, which earned her plenty of brownie points. “I was over the moon when Rangam released but after that, I was inundated with similar roles. I am cheerful and bubbly by nature. It will always be a part of me. But that doesn’t mean I can do only such roles. I don’t want to do Saro part 2,” says Piaa Bajpai, now eagerly awaiting her forthcoming releases, which she hopes will make filmmakers and the audience look beyond her chirpy self.

First up is Madhura Sreedhar’s Backbench Student, releasing this Friday, where she’s paired with Mahat Raghavendra. “In the film, I am an orphan who’s never had a support system to fall back on. So this girl turns out to be insecure, possessive and panics at the first hint of trouble,” says Piaa.

Aware that triangular love stories are commonplace, she watched Madhura Sreedhar’s earlier films Sneha Geetham and It’s My Love Story. “There was something special about those films. The way the film was shot added to the freshness of the script. So I was sure I am getting to work with a good filmmaker. My friends in Hyderabad also told me Sreedhar was good at marketing the film too. You can have a great film on hands but it doesn’t help if you don’t market it well. I went with my instinct and signed the film,” she says.

Weeks after Backbench Student, Piaa has the bi-lingual Dhalam (Kootam in Telugu) directed by Jeevan Reddy to bank on. Here, she takes a detour from her urban portrayals and plays a village belle in what she describes as ‘an intense love story’. “I’ve often been told that my curly locks and complexion make me unfit to do a rustic character. But I know it takes one big solo hit in an unconventional role to break that notion,” she says with a smile. There’s excitement when she speaks about shooting in Araku valley and getting to wear half-saris for the film.

Piaa has adopted a wait-and-watch policy until both the releases and hasn’t taken up any project.