'I wanted to be a yoga teacher'

Powerful persona

'I wanted to be a yoga teacher'

Actress Lisa Haydon has a charm like none other and is a name to reckon with on the ramp. When it comes to her silver screen presence, this suave artiste walked into the hearts of the audience with her role in ‘Queen’.

In an interview with Tini Sara Anien, the actress, who was in the City for the unveiling of the ‘Scotch Whiskey Collection...’ by United Spirits, talks about what it feels like to be in the limelight.

Would you rather be known as a model or an actor?

Neither, to be honest. I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t think these are the things that define a person. I don’t mind being known as either as I was a model and now, an actress. I also get to do endorsements which takes me back to
modelling again.

Your journey so far...

It’s been a great one! Models have a great time travelling the whole world. When I was in my 20s, I would look at my friends and no one had the opportunities that I had. Acting is a challenge. It’s an evolution from what I used to do. I don’t like saying no to good opportunities and I like exploring myself.

How did modelling happen?

My elder sister was into modelling and I had an idea about the field. I didn’t know what I wanted to be back then — I wanted to study psychology and I wanted to be a yoga teacher. At the typical crossroads in life when one’s parents want one to go to university, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. My parents let me do whatever I wanted and I was working in cafes and doing things I liked.

Then a friend of mine asked me to check out an agency and I did. It just snowballed from there and here we are!

Known for your persona on the ramp, what do you identify as your strong points?

To be frank, I am surprised that I did well in modelling! I am always nervous on the ramp. My strong point is that I have never been confident. There have only been a couple of fashion shows like those I did for Manish Arora and Tarun Tahiliani, where I felt like I owned the show (laughs). My emotion, when I walk down the ramp, is fear though it comes across as otherwise.

Though you have acted in ‘Aisha’, you were noticed more for your role as Vijaylakshmi in ‘Queen’...

Vijaylakshmi was a character I associated with at that time. I really tried and got into the character. The director thought I was her. The funny part is that I got that role when I came back from ‘Paris Fashion Week’.

All my friends were making fun of how bad my French was. Then I landed in Mumbai and got a call saying that I was being offered a French character and I said ‘Funny that!’ Many times, some weakness has turned around and become my strength. I still associate myself with the character, though not as much with how she goes about her life as her spirit.

What made you take up the role?

There was a point when I almost did not take it up. There could have been a way that the role would have come out as a provocative, out-there, overly sensual character and I wasn’t interested in that. But the director took good care. He made sure that the role breathed rather than look like an object.

Do you party hard?

I probably used to go out much more as a youngster but one grows out of it after a while.
Now it is more of special occasions like a friend’s wedding or a holiday (laughs). There are enough events like those throughout the year to take care of my social life at the moment.

Any project coming up?

‘Housefull 3’ should release in June. The project is proceeding really well. It was a lot of fun being on the sets and with Riteish and the others.

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