I seriously thought she had the potential to be another Zeenat Aman. Pert,uninhibited, sensuous and spontaneous, Lisa Haydon kind of exploded on screen in a walk-on part as an airhead in Aisha. I thought she should have played the title role. But then excuse me, she didn’t have a family empire to feed her vampirical designs of self-fuelled stardom.
Lisa was an independent bird, unconnected to the film industry.She probably didn’t know the difference between Yash Chopra and Yash Johar.
Just like Zeenat. But strangely , Zeenat got her stardom in spite of her very natural Westerized demeanour. Lisa didn’t. Maybe she didn’t give it time. I though she was charming and disarming as the trio of lechers Anupam Kher, Piyush Mishra and Annu Kapoor’s object of lustful adoration in Shaukeens, that very poor remake of Basu Chatterjee’s Shaukeen.
While everyone in Shaukeens hammed, Lisa was just her beautiful unselfconscious herself . Rati Agnihotri who had played the same role in Basu Chatterjee’s original told me she liked what Lisa did in the remake.Lisa was also splendid as Ranbir Kapoor’s ex-girlfriend in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.As the clueless Lisa D’Souza she walked in and walked out, head high,spirits higher, with just 3 minutes of screen time.
Lisa was better than everything else put together in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Karan told me he named the character after Lisa just as as he had named Rani’s character Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai after Twinkle Khana(Tina being her nickname) because the part was written for Twinkle.
The piece de resistance of Lisa’s career is of course the fabulous Vikas Bahl romp into a woman’s womb in Queen. As ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut’s buddy Vijaylaxmi Lisa was plain and simple, the scenestealer.
(Please note: I will desist from praising Lisa any more in Queen , as I am basically a coward and don’t want to be called hurtful names like cockroach ,bandar etc and declared anti-national, etc)
Given time, Lisa would have grown into stardom organically. But here is the thing. She found something much better than stardom. She found true love. Wisely and quickly she married Dino Lalvani in 2016 and quit Bollywood and left the country to be Mrs Lalvani and the mother of three children in quick succession.
I know of so many screen queens who have given up the chance to marry, only to finally end up as a lonely spinster or in a compromised marriage.
I don’t know Lisa . But I do know she has a better marriage and family life than 90 percent of the actresses in Mumbai. Yes, she chose well. As for stardom, who knows? It may be hers to take somewhere in the future.
Happy Birthday, Mrs Lalvani. The babies are as gorgeous as you.