The former beauty queen talks about her new initiative, parenting, and her return to films.
Best known as Miss Universe 2000, Lara Dutta Bhupathi continues to shine like a diva. From making a debut in 2003 film Andaaz to leaving the audience in splits with her comic timing in Housefull, the actress has come a long way. In her decades-long career, not only has the former beauty queen acted, but also turned producer with Chalo Dilli, that had a decent run at the box office. Now adding another feather to her hat, Lara has turned entrepreneur with her new skincare brand — Arias. The name is her daughter Saira’s name spelt backwards.
Been one of the youngest models to have ventured into the industry, and having worked with makeup artists and skincare people for over 25 years, Lara had been debating of starting her own beauty range for a very long time. “I have often come across Indian women who would buy products from abroad that are supposed to do miracles on your face. And since they are so expensive, it is used sparingly and therefore not doing its job properly. Secondly, we hold onto the product for so long that it is normally used way past its expiry date. I strongly believe that it is not good for a woman to compromise on their skin health,” says Lara, who launched the brand in Dubai a few months back. While we have access to all kinds of beauty products and brands in India, Lara insists that somewhere they don’t fulfil the need for Indian skin type. As a result, the actress and her team spent two years formulating the products. “Ageing in the Indian skin is different. Plus with living in urban cities, we are most exposed to stress, pollution, sun damage, pigmentation, etc. Our skin needs completely different care than what is offered,” rues Lara.
And for those two years, the actress reveals that her husband — tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi — acted as a guinea pig for the products. He now steals Lara’s beauty products on a day-to-day basis. “He just takes whatever he wants! My face-wash, under-eye cream or sunscreen; whatever he likes, he picks and uses. In that sense, Mahesh is quite indiscriminate with products he sees around him,” she laughs. As for her seven-year-old daughter, who is often spotted with her father on the tennis court, Lara maintains that it is too early to decide anything about her. While the celebrity couple doesn’t follow a fixed idea of parenting, the Partner actress maintains that they are ‘extremely hands-on parents’. “She is a kid. She plays tennis, goes for dancing classes, and right now is doing whatever she likes to. Most importantly, Mahesh and I are very low-key and try to give our daughter as normal life as possible,” she says.
As a mother, the actress is of the opinion that every passing age of the child is a complete learning experience for the parent. “A child is constantly changing, and Saira teaches us more than we teach her. She is currently going through the eye-roll phase, so she will point out things and be like, ‘This is what you are wearing and going out?’ With a girl, you learn new things every day,” Lara laughs.
On the work front, we might have not seen her dazzling on the big screen lately, but she will soon be seen essaying the role of a cop on the web-series 100 to be directed by Ruchi Narayan. “That will always continue. We are producing and I am doing web and film too. There is definitely stuff happening, but unfortunately, I can’t speak about them. I will do so when the time is right,” she concludes.