Mumbai, Lisa Ray, who is suffering from incurable cancer, is ecstatic after riding up in cycle-rickshaws for the premiere of Dilip Mehta’s “Cooking With Stella” at the just concluded Toronto International Film Festival.
Heads turned when Lisa and the rest of the cast of the comedy rode up in cycle-rickshaws Thursday night.
“Yes, we rolled up in rickshaws and the crowd was hugely supportive. I wore my ‘Myeloma’ bracelet, which matched my gown. My gown was designed by NADA, a Toronto designer, and India-inspired,” Lisa, who is euphoric but exhausted after the event, told IANS.
Lisa rode up in the two-seater rickshaw with her co-star Don McKellar while the rest of the cast – including Dilip, his sister Deepa Mehta and producer David Hamilton – were in other rickshaws. The entourage was arresting. The ambience created was very rustic and Indian.
The press at the Toronto Film Festival was naturally full of questions about Lisa’s health condition. She answered all of them patiently.
This was Lisa’s first major public appearance after she announced her illness and she had herself a grand time.
“I had the most fun I’ve ever had at a red carpet event. Probably because it was the first time I was totally unselfconscious. It was an interesting lesson. I could just let it all hang out and genuinely enjoy myself. Also, I am grateful for all the support and love from people around the world, especially from India. Truly, India’s heart beats stronger and louder than ever before,” she said.
Fatigued but excited, Lisa said: “The gala went off spectacularly well. Dilip brought down the house with his opening on stage. Our film was received with incredible warmth and positivity.”
Lisa is big fan of her Stella co-star Seema Biswas.
“Seema continues to be my ultimate inspiration as an actress. All the performances in the film are spot on, making ‘Cooking with Stella’ a crowd pleaser. Dilip Mehta is an amazing director. He’s made something very special in ‘Cooking with Stella’ and his vision will continue to thrill in the future. It’s been a privilege to work with him and with the entire cast,” she said.
Besides Seema and Lisa, Shriya Saran, who stars in “Cooking With Stella”, also attracted a lot of media eyeballs at the Toronto premiere.