Bollywood actress and model Lisa Haydon talks hiding her bump on set and indulging her sweet cravings
“My husband picked me up from the train station after I returned from a job in Paris, took one look at me and said ‘you’re definitely pregnant.’ I was but I didn’t know it, he knew before I did, he’s very intuitive that way,” she says. Fast-forward nine months and Lisa is due to give birth to their first child in a matter of days. “It really adds a whole new dimension to life, and I can only imagine what it will be like once the baby is born. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and come from a family of eight kids, which has by far been one of life’s greatest blessings. I’m not sure we’ll pull off eight but if we can do half that, it will be amazing. Let’s take it one at a time though!”
With an Indian father and Australian mother, Lisa was born and raised in Mumbai (she describes India as one of the most special places in the world) while spending school holidays in Australia. As teenagers they hung out in America and now she spends her time in London, where she is currently living. “I’ve travelled my whole life, especially in the last 12 years with work. It’s the most exciting and wonderful part of my job.”
The 30-year old model and actress has, in her words, had ‘a pretty easy time’ with her first pregnancy. “If you’re living a healthy lifestyle beforehand, like taking vitamins daily (I take a prenatal vitamin, fish oil, Vitamins D3, C and E and calcium), sleeping well, and getting regular exercise then not much changes once you’re pregnant. I’m definitely feeling bigger and slower now though.”
Determined to work up until the five month mark, she says “It was really important to me to try and juggle work obligations while being pregnant. I know a lot of women go through this, where they love their jobs and would like to continue working, but it can trigger a lot of different reactions once your colleagues know you are pregnant,” she explains. On the cusp of filming a new project, Lisa found out she was expecting. “I told the director and producer, and they reassured me they wouldn’t tell a soul. We were scheduled to shoot in very cold and remote places, but I really didn’t want anyone else knowing for two reasons; the first being we weren’t past the safe 12-week mark and secondly I didn’t want any special treatment on set.”
She’s certainly a trooper, considering her work involves frequent long-haul flights plus going to bed at 3am and getting up at 5am. “I was filming in Bangkok when I needed to go to Mumbai to shoot the cover for Indian Vogue. I was four months pregnant and it was the January ‘Body Issue’ and I was nervous as my body was clearly going through changes. I confided in the Fashion Editor who I’ve known for years and thankfully she was excited by all my new curves and really supported me the whole way.”
According to Lisa, her career as a model ‘happened very gradually’. A friend of hers was modelling and told her agent about her. “I went and met them and started booking jobs from that moment. I went to Mumbai to visit my parents and India’s Next Top Model approached me to be the host of the show. It was a one-year contract and I signed it without thinking too much about it, and that landed me back in India.” While there she was spotted in a coffee shop and was subsequently offered her first movie role, in Aisha. She enrolled herself onto some acting classes and that was the start of it. “I always wanted to be an actress and feel very fulfilled doing so.”
One look at her Vogue cover and I have to ask her for all of her fitness and wellness secrets. “I did nothing in the first trimester, I think you’re more cautious with your first baby. I’ve since done Ballet Beautiful workouts and high-resistance cross training but have shied away from core work. Now, in the final stages, I’m lucky if I get a walk in as I’m so tired!” I comment on how she appears to have nailed a well-balanced lifestyle as many of her Instagram pictures feature sugary treats like giant cookies. “My cravings for desserts and chocolate are out of control! I’ve been very conscious to be healthy, have green juices every day and eat protein, but the last few months have been a disaster!”
Lisa also confesses to loving Angel Candice Swanepoel. “She made pregnancy look so good, as is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. They are both really gorgeous.” How has her own style changed? “I’d describe it as functional – fitted items in black, flowy dresses, skinny J Brand maternity jeans with lose tops and jackets and Gucci loafers or Stuart Weitzman flat thigh-high boots.” With her tireless work ethic and down-to-earth outlook, this is one mama-to-be who I think will be a natural.
In Her Words
NINE LONG MONTHS OR NINE JOYOUS MONTHS?
HIDE THE BUMP OR SHOW OFF THE BUMP?
Show it off!
HYPERACTIVE OR CHILLED-OUT PREGNANT WOMAN?
A mix of the two; I like to be active in body but chilled-out in nature.
WHAT DO YOU MISS THE MOST WHILE PREGNANT?
Selfishness, oysters and blue cheese.
ONE THING YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT WHILE PREGNANT?
Pillows and long baths in the tub. I also discovered the perfect remedy for a growing and rather itchy bump and that’s mixing almond cream with Vitamin E or Bio Oil.
YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS FOR EXPECTING?
I’ve bought a lot of non-maternity clothes that can be worn after pregnancy. Zimmerman, Marie France Van Damme and Spell and The Gypsy Collective.
TOP TIP FOR OTHER PREGNANT WOMEN?
Learn as you go and don’t get stressed with too much information. And buy a ‘U’ pillow!
IF YOUR PARTNER COULD CARRY THE BABY, WOULD YOU LET HIM?
Oh no, it’s a pleasure and honour to carry my baby. I wouldn’t trade this experience or feeling for anything.
BOY OR GIRL?