Mumbai: Basking in the terrific response to her performance in `Queen`, model-turned-actress Lisa Haydon says the success of `Queen` has helped her to enjoy her stay in filmdom.
Directed by Vikas Bahl, the film stars Kangana Ranaut in the lead role along with Rajkummar Rao and Lisa.
"Kangana and I have spoken about our karmic connection. We both did a film called `Rascals` two years ago and we both felt like fish out of water. The film was an agonizing experience for both of us. And now we`re both feeling a sense of triumph and euphoria after Queen. It`s amazing," said Lisa, 27.
Lisa, who was also seen in `Aisha`, admits she was tempted to call it quits after Rascals.
"I realized I was not cut out to be a conventional Bollywood heroine. After `Rascals`, I thought I was not going to last over here."
In that hour of despair came a glimmer of hope in the form of Vikas Bahl.
"It was god-sent. Vikas came in with the free-spirited Vijay Laxmi`s part at a time when I had reached a deadend in my movie career. Doing item numbers in revealing clothes was not what I was cut out to do," she said.
She plays bohemian single mother Vijay Laxmi in `Queen` and said: "I didn`t know such a character existed in Bollywood cinema. Vikas actually tailored the role to suit my personality. This is not to say that Vijay Laxmi wasn`t interesting the way she was. She was a wild child, a single mother who drinks hard and swears hard. She is nothing like what audiences in our country expect our female characters to be."
And yet audiences have embraced Vijay Laxmi`s other-ness wholeheartedly.
Lisa can`t believe the adulation she is getting.
"I am currently doing city tours of `Queen`. The film`s popularity is growing by word-of-mouth, and so is the reach and appeal of Kangana and my character," said Lisa who makes no bones about the fact that the script has an author-backed role for Kangana.
Now Lisa is engrossed in gathering compliments from the debris of her nearly-shattered film career.
"I have to confess it feels good, specially when a girl came up to me and said, `I thought only I was like that. Then I saw you in `Queen` and I realised there was someone else exactly like me.` My God! That was an out-of-body moment."
Her Catholic family is not much into Hindi films. But they saw `Queen` and loved her performance.
"The thing is, my family is not fluent in Hindi. Neither am I. But I am working on my language. You`d be happy to know I`ve dubbed all my Hindi lines in my next film Akash Deep`s `Santa Banta` on my own. But to my family the Bollywood Hindi is pretty alien. So they saw `Queen` with skepticism. To my surprise, they loved the film and my character. They went back again to see the film. That was the moment when I realised we had done something special in the film."
What Queen has given back to Lisa is her self-worth. "I felt I was a misfit in Bollywood. I couldn`t connect with the things that I was required to do. I felt my personality was too peculiar to blend in Bollywood. `Queen` has taught me to celebrate my specialness, my uniqueness. Yeah, I am not like other Bollywood heroines. And I am comfortable with that now."
She pledges not to do any role that doesn`t connect with her personality. "After `Queen`, I need a role and a character that is equally special. I can wait for it to come. I am in no hurry."
Lisa looks back at her struggle in Bollywood with no bitterness.
"Struggle is a good thing. It helps you to appreciate the success and recognition when they come. I don`t want anything to come easily to me."