Lisa Haydon is hot, happening and thus has to be on our pages! Shubarna Mukerji Shu brings out the person behind the sensation.
It would be hara-kiri to call Lisa Haydon a household name – it’s simply too domesticated a term for someone as wild and wilful as Miss Haydon! And yet, post QUEEN, everyone is talking about her, be it kids who found her cool, men who found her hot or women who wish they could be like her. No mean achievement for someone who is the quintessential outsider in this industry. How she did it, she tells us…
Are you basking in the post QUEEN success or moving on to Phase Two?
Oh believe me, the basking days are over. I have started labouring for my next phase. Though there were loads of success celebrations and champagne flowed for a good three-and-a-half weeks, that is now in the past. I like the fact that work is happening, good work. QUEEN has ensured that and it’s great. Though I really, really, really loved the basking bit, I really have had to get back to work.
So tell me, have you chalked out your plan yet, got your Hindi tutors in place?
Frankly, I don’t have the time for it. I don’t even have the time to get my hair washed! There are only 24 hours in a day, you know. I really don’t think I can actually go in for classes and stuff. Moreover, I don’t think my Hindi is terrible. I understand the language enough to be able to memorise the dialogues. Yes, I need to work on the accent but then I work towards it from project to project. Like I didn’t really go hard on myself for QUEEN, though for my previous work I had someone working with me for the diction. My next project also needs me to speak correctly so I will have someone working with me on it. I really didn’t think I would need to bend backwards to accommodate myself into this industry and its ways. I am sure it is not like I have to only work on my Hindi. I think the best way to go about stuff is to practice and experience… don’t they say experience is the best teacher? The more I do, the more I experience, the better I get… As far as limitations go, honestly I am not going to complain. If I was a really good Hindi speaking person who has grown up in this country, I would not have been offered QUEEN. So you win some and you lose some, that’s the way I always like it. No complaints!
You really don’t have any reason, especially with all the men going bonkers…
Ah! But what about them…
Does it ever get awkward?
No actually, why should it? Fans are well, great. Though their timing is not always the best… Just yesterday I was rushing to keep a doctor’s appointment and at the parking lot this girl stopped me for an autograph. I come out and I hear this other girl shouting ‘LISA-HAYDON!!!’ She was pulling over to meet me, and I had to wait on the road till she parked and came over. I had to rush for my shoot afterwards so I was rather pressed for time but I don’t think that was annoying. I understand where they are coming from. They don’t realise that they are disrupting life in a certain way… and honestly, it is not really irritating. Maybe if I was a Shah Rukh Khan I might have found it irritating, but I am not. I am Lisa Haydon and I thought it was really sweet.
For someone who has always been considered hot, do men come on strongly or are they intimidated?
I think intimidating is not so much to do with how sexy a person is; it is more the attitude. I might appear unapproachable but I know the minute you approach me, I am quite a sociable person. You see, some might find a beautiful person intimidating, especially if one carries oneself tall and beautifully and isn’t too talkative. You have no idea what is going on inside of her, that’s what intimidates. I don’t think I am like that, I like to socialise. But if you are some kind of a perv, then I can be very intimidating!
Fans are usually over enthusiastic, not pervs, right?
Right, I told you I don’t have problems with fans, though sometimes they are a little too, inconsiderate. I was at a hotel, just up and I had been having my breakfast, with my mouth filled with food, when a woman walked up to me and started praising my performance and stuff and there her husband had already got his Samsung Galaxy out and was clicking pictures. Now, I am just up and I am having my khaana, I didn’t like that. I could not be rude but I am not up to it.
Being an actress, one is expected to be well turned out always. I am certain people expect you to be hot and exuding sex appeal all the time… Hot and sexy is not who I am! I pick my nose, I get constipated, I pee like any other person. People who think I am hot have frankly only seen me at work. I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning looking hot. When there is no one around and you don’t have to worry about the impression you are giving, people tend to be at their worst, and that includes me.
Indians are known to have what’s called the gora-complex, preferring the white skin. Did you have any problems getting in?
I told this to a journalist before that my dark skin, dark hair, accent and height are my assets and I have never considered them my weak points. I grew up in a country where there were slogans like ‘Brown Is Beautiful’ and there would be a number of tanning salons. Where I grew up, I was always exotic. When I came here I didn’t have that chip on my shoulder. I think these complexes only come with lack of exposure. In the fashion industry, dark skin is widely appreciated and designers love it. And believe me, at the end of the day it is working with what you have. You cannot change that, and if you keep thinking on those terms you will only end up being bitter.
Talking about bitter, are girls jealous around you?
Well, it happens in this industry and it does get awkward. Frankly, you cannot predetermine how you would react to it, you just do what you have to and you handle it. For me, I just try as hell to be professional and kind to everyone. If they are jealous, it’s their trip not mine. There was a lot of hype about your engagement with Karan Bhojwani, and then the subsequent break-up is bound to be speculated over… I don’t want to comment on this. I have learnt to keep my mouth shut and that’s how I want to keep it.
Okay, we comply. But what about your future projects… there’s of course, SHAUKEEN with Akshay Kumar.
The future comes to you when you arrive at the future. Wow, that’s a quote I am sticking with! Jokes aside, the future will come to me!
This article first appeared in May 2014 issue of Cine Blitz magazine