It's a lazy Saturday afternoon and sitting in front of me is none other than one of B-town's hottest ladies, Lisa Haydon!
Gosh, I remember how smitten was I by her character Vijayalakshmi in the Kangana Ranaut starrer 'Queen'! Her portrayal of a fiery, independent woman was a total spot-on and I am pretty sure many of you must have even identified with her fearless streak. Post 'Queen' a couple of films followed next for Lisa but they failed to make a mark at the box office. Now Lisa is back in the spotlight and this time she is a part of an ensemble film.
With the release date of 'Housefull 3' inching closer, the actress gets candid about the film, her comic timing, her selective choices of films and why she believes that good directors make good actors.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q. Tell us something about your role in 'Housefull 3'
A. My role in the film is that of a sort of posh English girl. We are three sisters and our father believes that we are very 'sanskaari' girls. So we oscillate between being these fun loving girls who have a good time, enjoy life, have boyfriends and date. And then at the same time we become virtuous when we go home. My character in the film is that of a wax carver at Madam Tussauds.
Q. How does it feel to be part of 'Housefull' franchise?
A. It feels really good. Obviously it feels great because this is a film that people love so much. The last two films in the franchise have done well too. My family friends loved watching 'Housefull'. My little siblings and friends can't wait for the film to come out. It's quite an honour to be a part of a film that already has received so much love.
Q. How was your bonding with your co-stars on the sets?
A. Riteish is very good with comedy. He is a man of many faces. I am very impressed with the polarities of what he is capable of doing as an actor. He has a great comic timing. We did our first look to work out our film characters' dynamics. Once we gelled it was really cute. Talking about the girls in the film, I got along really well with them. Because we play sisters and sisters have this sort of unspoken bond and friendship between them and that needed to come across on screen. Jacqueline, Nargis and I as people are quite similar. We have a similar sense of humour, backgrounds and stuff like that. I think that also worked in our favour as well.
Q. So how hard was it for you to get your comic timing right?
A. I feel my comic timing is very intuitive and very much on the spot. Like you need to be in the present moment and then react to every thing as if it's the first time you are hearing it. So in that sense, I think more than planning your timing, it's an innate thing that you have to pick up. Riteish's comic timing is fantastic and I hope that our chemistry and timing together come off well on screen. But personally I think that it worked out nicely.
Q. This is your second movie with Akshay Kumar. How was it working with him again?
A. He is fantastic as a co-actor. He is very helpful. His comic timing timing is fantastic too, in the sense, he knows how to make something look even more comical to the audience. Comedy is not really about playing a perfect character but playing it in a sort of deprecating yourself and he does that very nicely. He is a great person who lives his life to the fullest. He is very disciplined, he works very hard. I see that he has got a great family life too. He is just funny as person. There is never a lack of a joke or a prank or something when he is around.
Q. What drew you towards 'Housefull 3'?
A. I think it was the fun factor. I actually found the combination of us, three girls very interesting. It was a nice and fresh casting idea. That kind of sucked me in. Also the fact that the film was so popular as well. You are guaranteed to have a good time if you have good people to work with and great directors. I haven't done an ensemble cast film like this before. So it was something new and exciting for me and I am very happy that I did it.
Q. Vijayalakshmi from 'Queen' is your most loved character till date. Do you identity with that role in real life too?
A. It's funny because people often think that you are your character and I think that there are just certain elements of yourself that are in the character as supposed to be. To be honest with you, I didn't feel like Vijayalakshmi when I did that role. I don't think that I am as wild as she is. But with my character in 'Housefull 3' I sometimes do have that kind of relationship with my father in real life. I don't know.. I probably appear to me more like Vijayalakshmi but I think that I am quite a 'sanskari ladki'. (burst out laughing) It depends..there are different elements of everything in us. We react differently in different situations. That's the most interesting thing about acting. But at the same thing it's very confronting as well because you find yourself facing different situations and some times it relates to you too much.
Q. So how fast are you adapting to the Hindi language?
A. I can do my dialogues very nicely. I have grown up listening to Hindi. So even though my grammar and spoken Hindi is a little bit broken, but when it comes to working in a film, I always make sure that I memorize my dialogues well. I know my co-actor's dialogues too so I know how to react to them. I make sure that I do my homework well so that nobody can say that my Hindi is not good. (laughs)
Q. You seem to be very selective when it comes to choosing films. Is that a conscious move?
A. I think that a film is a very big undertaking. It takes up like two-three months to shoot and then you spend some more time on promoting it. Whatever I do I feel like I need to go there willingly and put everything into it. I only want to do the films that I know I can be passionate about, the films that I know will do well for me in some way or films I can bring something good to or if I can do justice to the characters. I don't like to do films just for the sake of numbers. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't have empty days or spaces that I need to fill. I also like to enjoy my life and have a very balanced life. For me if I am not taking that time away, this industry is very intense work-wise so it's very easy to get burnt out with that kind of work-load. You have to go out, live and then come back and bring something new into what you are doing. Also there are some films that I don't get offered but I would like to be offered. And then there are some films that I do get offered but I don't feel that they are right at this particular point of time. So it's just about balancing. I also like to do various different things. You can't be passionate about every single film that comes your way. But on the same note, there are some films that I really want to do and it doesn't come my way. So it's just about picking from what you are offered.
Q. Any actors or directors in your wishlist?
A. I always wanted to work with KJo (Karan Johar). Luckily I got a very little taste of that in his upcoming film (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). But I would like more. (laughs) I appreciate his films and the contemporary approach that he has to film-making. I really like Zoya Akhtar's films too. I would like to work with a woman director since I haven't worked with one since 'Aisha'. I love Vishal Bhardwaj's films. It would be such a pleasure to work with such great directors. I would love to work with Vikas Bahl again. I think good directors make good actors. So my wishlist has more directors I would rather work with than actors I would rather work with. You can appreciate an actor's work. But there is no saying how that's going to turn out unless you have got a really good director who makes the movie.