Mumbai, Canadian born Bollywood actress Lisa Ray, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer, has been a “portrait of courage” in her battle against the disease and will walk the red carpet Sep 16 at the Toronto Film Festival, said filmmaker Deepa Mehta.
Lisa has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the plasma cells, and says the disease is “incurable”.
Deepa, who has known Lisa from the time they worked together in the film “Bollywood/Hollywood”, is deeply impressed by Lisa’s brave fight.
“I knew about her illness two months ago. She told me. It was hard to believe. She wanted to keep it very private, and rightly so. Only her close friends and family knew,” Mehta told IANS.
“Which is why when Lisa blogged about her illness, I was surprised. It was very courageous of her. I think she decided that by coming out in the open about the illness she would not only be able confront and overcome the sad situation but also encourage others in similarly troubled spaces to fight and win over their illness,” added Mehta who also worked with Lisa in Oscar nominated “Water”.
The actress is currently in Toronto where she has her own home. Mehta says Lisa is peaceful and very calm.
“I met her last a few weeks ago. She is the epitome of grace under pressure. Truly exemplary,” said Mehta.
“We had fun doing the ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’ film. As for ‘Water’ no one seemed to believe she could pull off the role of a Hindu widow in the 1930s. But she did.”
Lisa has just completed a romantic comedy “Cooking With Stella” with Mehta’s brother Dilip Mehta.
On Sep 16 at the posh Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Lisa will walk the red carpet with Mehta and her brother for the Gala premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
“We’re looking at a woman who is a portrait of courage. She will do the red carpet proud.
“I remember when Lisa was shooting for ‘Cooking With Stella’ she was having so much fun with all of us. There was no sign of the illness. The only outward manifestation of the crisis to come was her loss of appetite. I remember telling her on the sets, ‘Lisa, you aren’t eating anything.’ She’s going to defeat this crisis. Lisa is a fighter.”