Lisa Ray is a well-known name in South Asia – and the diaspora.
Born in Canada, this daughter of a Bengali father (L. K. Datta) and a Polish mother (Jennifer) became a supermodel in India, and after a stint in television, acted in films in Bollywood and back home.
She was diagnosed with multiple melanoma in 2009, and recovered after stem cell transplant. The experience left an indelible mark on her, and prompted her to write about it, and to promote stem cell therapy.
In her recent autobiography, Close to the Bone, Ray discusses her parents, her nomadic existence, eating disorders, spirituality, mentors, loves, betrayers… In fact, everything a fan might want to know.
In this interview with Jitin Hingorani, Ray discusses her book, the ups and downs in her life, quotes Rabindranath Tagore describes her lack of a sense of home; the American elections; labels; and more.
She spoke of writing an earlier version of her autobiography and getting it back because it did not feel right. She spoke of celebrity and how someone once did not recognize her and told his friend about her looks, “She is no Lisa Ray.”
She dwelt on spirituality; the mentorship of people like designer Wendell Rodricks, and the things that have held her together, including her husband Jason Dehni and two children by surrogacy, Sofi and Soleil.
Lisa Ray at the 9th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. February 18, 2007 Beverly Hills, CA Picture: Paul Smith / Featureflash