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    With a musical drama releasing next week and heavy action sequences, Lisa Ray is going strong

    LISA Ray is storming the Indian silver screen again. The romantic musical Ishq Forever, directed by Sameer Sippy, is all set to release on February 19. The Water actress recalls how she was shuttling between Hong Kong and Mumbai when her friend, writer-producer Shabbir Boxwala, invited her to be part of Ishq Forever.
    “I play a 40-something RAW agent opposite Javed Jaffery and we are a divorced couple in the movie,” says Ray adding that she puts in her 100 per cent into the roles that she picks and trains much before the shooting starts. “This is my technique and it is important that I prepare before I hit the floor. I started training for the action scenes a month and half before the actual shoot with Master Shifuji who trains commandos in the Indian Armed forces. The training helped me with the body language of a secret agent and the action sequences.”

    The fitness track
    This is the first action-oriented role for this 43-year-old activist and philanthropist, but she was able to take it in her stride. Being a cancer survivor, she follows a strict fitness regime, which she keeps altering based on her needs. “I have been a lifelong exerciser and I have been practising yoga for over 20 years. I am also a certified yoga teacher.” She has recently set up her studio in Toronto, Canada called Moksha Yoga Brampton. “I have to pay extra attention to my fitness due to my condition,” she says reminding us of how gritty this lady is. Any Oscar favourites? “I have been so busy that I could not follow the Oscars and the movies nominated but certainly The Danish Girl and Carol are on my wish list. I think Carol should have been on the nominees list but unfortunately it was not.”
    The Indo-Canadian actress has been part of movies which have been based on LGBT themes like The World Unseen and I Just Can’t Think Straight and she believes the Indian audience is ready for such movies. “I am not sure if Bollywood is ready for LGBT scripts but am certain the Indian audience is aware and open to homosexual stories, which are sensitively and beautifully told. I think we have underestimated the audience.” She is quite unabashed by the controversies that usually surround gay themes and exclaims, “I have done LGBT themes and I have always been ahead of my time.”
    Ray is quite focused on Ishq Forever and is awaiting its verdict at the box office in the coming week. “The pipeline is always full and filled with diverse projects. My next film would be Zahhek and this year looks promising,” she concludes.

    Ishq Forever releases on February 19.

    — Rahul Dev

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