“There’s always been a lot more to me than just my appearance,” says Lisa Ray, who, besides her acting, has often been talked about for her looks.
The actor adds that she looks very different without make-up, and when she steps out without any, she “gauges” how people’s reactions change.
“On meeting me, a lot of people are surprised how different I look [in real life] from the films and covers I’ve done. That’s only natural. In fact, that may be one of the reasons I’ve chosen films such as Water (2005) and Veerappan, which are distinctly unglamorous. I think I still challenge perceptions. I live for myself and don’t seek validation. That’s one of the best things about getting older. It’s wonderfully liberating,” she says
Watch: Trailer of Veerappan
Lisa recently did a bold photo shoot for the cover of a men’s magazine. Speaking about the shoot, the actor reveals that she was initially hesitant about the project. “But I thought, this is a great opportunity to show what a 44-year-old cancer survivor can look like,” she adds.
The actor says that she wishes to portray an image of a cancer survivor that people aren’t used to seeing. “It’s a form of activism when I show up looking great, especially as I’m someone who’s living with cancer and am 44 years old,” she says.
Certain portals praised Lisa’s photo shoot with the terms “sizzling” and “hot”. Ask Lisa if these terms are equivalent to objectification and whether it still happens to women more than men, and she says, “Yes, women are objectified much more and the media is partly to blame. I have experienced this for most of my life. In India, people seem to want to reduce you, as a woman, to appearances.”
Watch: Lisa Ray in Rang Rang in Bollywood Hollywood
The actor is also coming up with a perfume line of her own. Lisa says that she isn’t sure about whether she has a businesss-oriented mind. “But I can tell you when I follow my heart, I never go wrong. I have enjoyed my entrepreneurial activities as long as they are aligned to my personal values. You won’t find me getting into business with a tobacco brand,” she quips.
The entertainment industry demands actors look their best all the time. When asked if she finds herself succumbing to this pressure, and Lisa says, “I try not to feel the pressure to conform to beauty standards, but it’s very hard in today’s world.”