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Women on the verge

entertainment Updated: Mar 07, 2009 20:39 IST
Sujata Reddy
Sujata Reddy
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Diana Penty and Lisa Haydon, two of India's best-known young models, dropped in for coffee at Café. Sujata Reddy tells you what happened.

It's just another manic Friday as Diana Penty and Lisa Haydon (5'11" and 5'10") - touted to be the most promising (not fresh) faces of the modelling industry, walk into the Hindustan Times office. They can't help but stoop at intermittent

intervals, to look at and hug the vertically challenged around. Armed with poise, flawless complexion, towering height and lovely tresses, the lasses are all set for an interactive session with team HT Café at the office conference room.

Dressed in denims and white tops, the girls are colour co-ordinated, albeit unintentionally. The easy camaraderie is palpable. They stick to each other as if seeking refuge.. against the bad presswallahs. Ha ha, he hees and more giggles later, they settle for a photo-op and a rapid fire (they get their turn at asking questions too). Diana Penty and Lisa Haydon

Café:

Do you realise that you could be role models for the youth? You are both young and successful..


Diana

: I think we have a long way to go before we're looked upon as role models.


Café

: So, do you discuss beauty, clothes and fashion with your mom? Does she ever tip you?


Diana

: (Smiles) We have enough professionals in the industry to help us with that. I prefer to leave work outside home.


Lisa:

Same here.


Café

: Ever had a wish to interview someone?


Lisa

: (Instantly) Angelina Jolie! Many say we look alike. She's like superwoman.


Diana

: Yeah.. I'd like to know her as a person, there's enough matter on her public life.


Café

: We've heard about catfights between models..


Lisa

: Honestly, I don't know where such stories come from. Diana and I get along really well.. she's one of the sweetest girls I've known.


Diana:

(Gushes) Thank yooou!


Plan to join the movies?


Lisa

: Diana and I have discussed this before. We'd be glad to be a part of Bollywood, but neither of us is overly ambitious.


Café

: Have you ever met Akshay Kumar?


Lisa

: Huh? No. Why?


Café

: He likes to give breaks to PYTs.


Lisa

: (Killer stare).


Diana and Lisa Café

: So what's the flip side to being a model? Are you expected to put up a façade of being a lovely face all the time?


Diana

: How much can one pretend? I am me most of the time.. whether one likes it or not.


Lisa

: (Laughs) Some people from my agency thought I was a total bitch till they met me this morning.


Café

: Your pet peeve as a model?


Lisa

: Being labelled as a fresh face. I mean, hello.. it's been over two years that I started to model and I'm still counted as one of the fresh faces.


Once, a Delhi publication called me twice in a span of 10 days, to interview me.. as a 'fresh face' in the industry.


Café

: What's the size-zero controversy all about?


Lisa

: Oh my God! Are they still talking about it?


Diana

: (Shrugs) I think the masses have the concept of size-zero all messed up in India. Size-zero is a very small size.. a child's size. Kareena Kapoor is definitely not a size-zero. Look at us, we are thin too, but not a size-zero.


Café

: What do you make of Freida Pinto's success in the west?


Lisa

: She's lucky to have landed a role in a Woody Allen flick.. that would be like a dream come true


for me.


Diana

: The west loves dark eyes and jet-black hair. We don't value it back here. Talking of Slumdog Millionaire, I had seen it in L A before it released in India and a chunk of the audience walked out. They found the graphic street scenes very disturbing. I guess it's not so shocking for us.


Café

: For how long do you think you'd follow a strict diet regime?


Lisa

: (Laughs) My sister and I have decided to let it all hang after we turn 50!


Diana

: A healthy diet is ingrained in me now.. I'm happy following it to the T.


Lisa

: But we've had our fat days, haven't we.. debating over whether to have a chocolate or not.. and then biting into one.


Diana

: In fact, just before we came here, she wanted to stop for an icecream.


Lisa

: I will on my way back.


Café

: Do your friends treat you as celebrities?


Diana

: (Laughs) Most of my friends don't follow my work. My closest friends are my biggest critics, I'm anything but a celebrity for them.


Café

: Do you feel safe in Mumbai?


Lisa

: Yeah, totally.


Café

: What's your take on the Mangalore incident?


Diana

: What incident?


Lisa

: What happened?


Café

: A group of girls were attacked.


Lisa

: Oh, why?


Café

: Because they were enjoying a drink at a pub.. apparently it's a sign of loose morals.


Lisa

: That's horrible. I've never felt unsafe anywhere in the world. But that may be because of the choice of pubs and because I'm mostly in a group.


Café

: Do you plan to vote?


Diana

: I do, after the recent terror attacks so close to my home. I'll be flying to New York for the fashion week. I'll figure out a way though.

Diana Penty and Lisa HaydonOver to Café

Lisa: How does a reporter keep from bias?

Café: We're human but it's our job to be objective. And hey, the editor is always there to screen out a bias.

Diana: Still, there are times when one hears of someone being misquoted..

Café: That happens only occasionally.. when the answers are sent via email or when one cannot catch words over the phone. It rarely happens when an interview is done face-to-face.

Mostly the celebrity just refuses to accept responsibility for his or her statements fearing a backlash.

Diana: Don't you set traps during interview?

Café: An intelligent person will see through a trap. Today, a celebrity is not free to give heart-felt interviews; they have to go according to the

diktats of the PR agency.. they're bound by contracts, the works. So the answers are quite rehearsed anyway.

Lisa: Yeah.. I don't have the time for personal interviews because I'm always on the move. Once, a journalist came over to my place and we had a lengthy chat. It resulted in a very sweet interview. I guess personal interviews do work.

Lisa: Have any of you ever been disappointed on meeting a celebrity? My sister was a huge fan of Paris Hilton till she met her in person. She yelled 'Paris' at the top of her voice on spotting the socialite. Paris just glared and told her bodyguard, "Keep that girl away from my boyfriend."

My sister didn't know what to make of that statement.. I told her that she should be flattered. But Paris has one less fan now.

Café: Let's just say such incidents and some more unflattering ones are a part and parcel of our job.