Lisa Ray, the Indo-Canadian actress who made her debut with a Bombay Dyeing advertisement, has spent over three decades in the industry. At the launch of her memoir, Close To The Bone, she decided to speak about entering the industry at the age of 16 and how it affected the priorities she had later on in life. Lisa made her Bollywood debut with the film Kasoor in 2001 and went on to do the Oscar-nominated film, Water. However, she never stepped into mainstream film because she felt she would be “extinguished by conforming to mainstream standards,” the actress stated.
After battling cancer of the white blood cells in 2009, the actress shared at the launch of her book that she is finally comfortable with how her body feels, “I am most comfortable in my skin now than ever before. Ironically, I think I am most attractive at 47 rather than when I was 16 years old. Of course, I had a great body but I had so distorted view of my body that I felt so ugly and insecure all the time.”
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While talking to a news agency, Lisa Ray spoke about becoming a sex symbol at such a young age and being put into boxes that haunted her for life. “I hate to be labelled and put into boxes but I had to deal with it since a young age because I was a sex symbol at the age of 16. It was completely unanticipated. To suddenly become this figure for an entire nation and on top of that, to look much older, that has haunted me my entire life up until now,” she said.
However, the success of her movies didn’t dictate how she left about her life, “I understood at a very young age, I was 16 then, that all the aspects that you call success – name, fame and money, they don’t solve the questions of the soul. So, my ambitions became different. My goal wasn’t to become famous. That explains a lot of my choices, all the projects I said no to because I really understood that my answers were not waiting at the end of it.”
Lisa stated that her career hasn’t always been smooth sailing and she was often underestimated because of her looks, “A lot of people will understand how I have this ambivalent relationship with my career, how I am an accidental actress, how I always had one foot in and one foot out of it and how I believe that I have been underestimated only because of the way I look. Although, I don’t believe they shouldn’t be at odds with each other.”
Is her recovery the reason she decided to pen down Close To The Bone? “I do cover my cancer experiences but that comes much later. Having said that, cancer was the launching pad for writing this memoir because initially, that’s why I was approached to write this… When I sat down and thought about it, I realised that I couldn’t write about my disease in isolation from the rest of my life because everything is connected with what came before,” she shared at her book launch.
Lisa Ray is now 47 years old and mother of one-year-old twin daughters, Sufi and Soleil, with husband, Jason Dehni. The actress was last seen in a webseries, Four More Shots Please! in 2019 and hosted Top Chef Canada from 2012-2014.
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