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Verve People
November 20, 2005

Watered Down Glamour

Text by Hina Oomer-Ahmed

Globetrotting model-turned-actress, Lisa Ray, quietly resurfaced (after Bollywood/Hollywood) on the horizons of Hindi cinema after a long hiatus, with Water, a film that has made waves at the Toronto Film Festival.

Globetrotting model-turned-actress, Lisa Ray, quietly resurfaced (after Bollywood/Hollywood) on the horizons of Hindi cinema after a long hiatus, with Water, a film that has made waves at the Toronto Film Festival. “I have never really been a part of the Bollywood circle and never wanted to be. I have always been keen on working in North America. I believe in the system and work ethic here,” she affirms. No wonder then, she turned her back on Bollywood’s routine masala movies to come up with a completely ‘natural’ performance in the final part of director, Deepa Mehta’s trilogy that was five years in the making. Lisa did her homework well before stepping into the character of Kalyani, a Hindu widow, minus all the glam and greasepaint. Attending workshops and visiting vidhwa ashrams did help her get under the skin of her alter ego, but what inspired her most was a study on widows, Perpetual Mourning, given to her by the director. And her insightful remark that had the actor thinking: “Imagine Kalyani to be like a lotus flower that blooms in the murkiest water but remains untouched by the dirt underneath.” After all, you cannot hide purity – or beauty – under any bushel.

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