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March 2012
“outdoorsy” secrets
She was a successful model and dancer before coming to be defined as Bollywood’s dusky beauty.For Lisa Haydon, the journey has only got more exciting. The 24-year-old with multi-cultural roots is rearing to go with roles in regional cinema.

In between shoots, during a packed schedule at Hyderabad recently, she made time for some telephone tete-a-tete with team BPositive. The excerpts…

You have made the transition from a successful career in modelling to acting. How has the journey been?
It has been a great journey. I was focused on modelling for many years of my life. Right now, acting is the priority.

You have Keralite roots on your father’s side and Australian roots on your mother’s side. How has your multicultural background influenced you? How advantageous has it been?
I know that a lot of people from abroad are returning to India now and finding success too. My multi-cultural background too has worked very great for me. But then even though my mom is an Australian, India has been a big part for me. As a teenager, I grew up in Mumbai. India is where I have spent the greater part of my life.

Are you looking forward to reaching a wider international audience - Hollywood dreams or plans?
I don’t know. I don’t make these kinds of plans. I think it is always good to be in the moment. If it comes, I will embrace it. I am happy being where I am now.

You have been shooting for a Telugu movie… Tell us about your foray into regional cinema...
Actually, I cannot say much on that. This (the four days at Hyderabad in January) was the first time. I would love to do more of them. I am quite confident with my Hindi now. This movie (Telugu one) is due for release sometime in March.

Speaking for the industry or speaking individually as an actress, what do you have to say about the business of casting couch in bollywood?
I don’t know. I have never been approached. You need to approach work with dignity, only then will you get dignified results. My belief is - if it is not an option for you, it does not exist for you. I am someone who will make a big issue out of it if it happens. I would never have anything to do with that person again.

Tell us about a role that you would like to play.

I would like to do some kind of an action role. One of the Telugu song sequences was all about being a gusty fighter in a typical Indian village woman context. It was complete with the saree draped the pucca Telugu way. I almost shocked myself playing it. I would love to go deeper into tough actions like that. Another part of it was a sexy hip hop.

Where do you draw the line with the products you endorse?
Initially, I didn’t think much about it: I was 18 when I started modeling and at that age you don’t think of such things. I have darker skin; I will therefore never endorse something like a fairness cream. It is important that you convey the message. When I was growing up, in Australia, people loved my skin colour. Very recently, a friend who was visiting asked me “Where can I get a spray tan?” It’s funny! I had to tell her, it never happens here. You know, outside, it is very aspirational to have darker skin…

You have been with Lakme…
I am no longer with Lakme. It was a three year contract. I am aged 24 - 25 now… Another four years and I am 30! So, I am conscious and careful about how I care for myself and where I go from here.

Cosmetics-wise, what is the secret of your glowing skin or beauty?

I wash my face with a good face wash every morning and evening. I go for natural homemade products like homemade scrubs. I also use a lot of products made in Pondicherry (Auroville). They are natural and organic. I use their essential oils and cold presses, particularly.

How far would you go to look good? Would you seek surgical procedures?
I think the issue is more about each to one’s own.

Describe your fitness / workout regime

I don’t get to do a workout every single day. It may be three to four days in week. I do Ashtanga yoga for half-anhour to one hour; I swim and run too. I do a lot of swimming. I don’t like doing weights - I don’t like the muscular aspects of weight training. I like to remain soft and toned

You wanted to be a Yoga teacher and got into modelling by chance – where does Yoga fit for Lisa the actress?
I don’t think of it much now. When I have been given an opportunity to be an actor in such a vast industry, it doesn’t make sense to go back and try being a yoga teacher. May be, in the future, I will open a Yoga school.

What Yoga practice do you adhere to? Do you meditate?
Of late, I am into Quantum Yoga. It was started by one of my friends. It is like doing yoga to get you through a particular dosha. Mine is Vata. I am not into a particular meditation
technique or such. This yoga – Quantum Yoga - too is a kind of meditation.

What would be your typical diet at home and on a shoot?
While on shoot I cannot control my diet in any way. I eat anything – idli, sambar, dosa… When I am at home, it is wholly fruit juices. My parents are vegans and at home it is vegan
food only No dairy products. No meat. Nothing! My mum cooks delicious food: if it is Thai in the morning, it could be Chinese in the evening. Lots of ginger, coconut milk, carrots, cucumber and things like that go into my mom’s preparations.

What is your personal take on fashion and style?
Fashion and style are very different things. Fashion is about what is trending at a particular time. Style is more personal. It is about being your own.

What are the must-haves in your wardrobe?
Leggings. I have them in all the different colours. It fits all kinds of women and can be co-ordinated with almost anything. I like wearing silk and I stock on silk tops in all styles. A
big handbag, high heels and ballerina shoes are the others.

What are the things or issues that are the most stressful for you? What do you do to unwind?

Hyper people! Also, stay in any big city for more than a few days. I love to be with nature. I visit Pondicherry at least twice a month.

Your family and siblings...
I am the second of seven siblings. The older is a sister; she is a painter. The youngest of us - a brother - is still in school. Two are in college. One brother is a cricketer and a chef, one sister is a ballerina.

Anyone after you into acting?
I really don’t think so. No, not yet; nobody is in the mood about getting into acting. Everyone is artistic and has taken to things of one’s own

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