'I'm just enjoying every moment'

'I'm just enjoying every moment'

Positive thinking

'I'm just enjoying every moment'
Actor Lisa Ray is no newcomer to the Indian film industry. Though she hasn’t been seen on the big screen for a while, the ‘Water’ actor has by no means been silenced. Now (finally), she is all set for the release of her next film, ‘Ishq Forever’, where she plays a strong and independent RAW agent.

In a chat with Ananya Revanna, the cancer survivor talks about the film and the role of women in Bollywood.  

It has been a while since we saw you on the big screen. What made you pick ‘Ishq Forever’ as your comeback film?

I think the movie kind of chose me. Last year, I was in the process of setting up two new homes — in Mumbai and Hong Kong, where my husband is based — when I got a phone call from Shabbir Boxwala, who is a friend of mine and the producer of this film. He cut right to the chase and asked me if I wanted to do this film. At the back of my mind, I thought it was a little premature to do the film as I had a lot going on at the time, but I couldn’t refuse. I thought the script was fabulous. And I’d get a chance to shoot with Javed (Jaffrey), Sam (Sameer Sippy) and the kids (Krishna Chaturvedi and Ruhi Singh). Also, the shoot was in South Africa, which is one of my favourite places.

The script is ‘fabulous’ — what about it?

My character is so interesting and kick-ass. I’m playing a woman, a RAW agent, who is around my age (43), strong, empowered, kicking mens’ butts and isn’t the wife or girlfriend of someone (although I do come face to face with my ex, played by Javed). We talk about changing roles for women in Bollywood and the way to do it is to represent a woman fully. I’d like to see more characters like mine; how often do we see 40 plus women on screen who are still hot or attractive?

So this is something close to you...

Yes. There’s a special allure to a woman my age because she’s become more secure. It isn’t about having a figure of a 20 year old, because that was a different stage of my life. I’m much happier with myself now, I’m confident and I accept myself for who I am. This is a special role and i want to see more characters like this.     

The movie is also the first time you have worked on action sequences. How was that?

I had to train for those scenes and to understand the body language. This is a lovely light-hearted film and isn’t full of action scenes but I had to do my prep work. After that, I just let it go and went with whatever was happening on the sets. Javed and I improvised a lot.

How do you manage to stay fit?

It’s a lot of hard work, particularly because I’m steroids. People don’t realise it but I’m going to be on heavy drugs for the rest of my life. I’ve educated myself about nutrition and the right kind of food for healing. It’s not about being thin, it’s about being healthy. I have green juices and a diet but, at the same time I subscribe to the 80-20 rule. I love food so 80 percent of the time I eat what I should and the remaining 20 percent, I just go for it!

You’ve been through many challenges... What gets you through them?

I don’t think about it. I just focus on the positive, on moving forward. I wish there was an exact formula but there isn’t. And I don’t like giving advice. In my life, I’ve done a lot of yoga and meditation, and that’s perhaps helped me. But I’m not going to tell someone else to do the same, they have to find their own way. We have a choice, at every moment, to either be happy or unhappy. If you believe that the choice is not up to you, then you are delusional. So it all begins with working on the mind.

What plans next?

I’m just enjoying my life, every single moment of it. I don’t plan my schedules though it’s filled. I’m hoping to spend more time with my husband and puppy. I also write, collect art, practice yoga... I have a lot of other interests outside films. I also have another Hindi movie releasing this year.

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