Chit Chat

I’ll give Salman a high-five or something: Sunny Leone

Adult star-turned-Bollywood actor, Sunny Leone, gets talking about the hypocrisy in society and the kind of questions that are posed to her constantly…She’s certainly ‘raised some bars’. No pun intended. But ask her about meeting great (s)expectations and Sunny Leone doesn’t want to unveil anything, not just yet. “Keep your fingers crossed”, she says to Madhureeta Mukherjee, while discussing bold cinema, the adult
entertainment industry and (un)censored masala in B-town. Read on…

Isn’t working in mainstream Hindi cinema a different ball game altogether?
Absolutely. When I was offered my debut film, I knew that the brand was known by the audience and they would be intrigued enough to want to watch the movie. But their response towards me has been amazing.

So what would you attribute this popularity to?
I think people are very curious about me. They’ve seen me in Bigg Boss and know my work. So, they want to see me in person. They want to understand me… they want to see how I look up close and personal.

People are also hypocritical — while one half of the political spectrum wanted the posters of your film removed, while the other half wants you to attend their events.
You know, people are hypocritical everywhere. Every society has double standards. As far as these incidents go, there are always going to be negative people around who try to bring you down. But if you know who you are as an individual, these things won’t bother you. Many people criticized my film, but there are many more who are going and watching it.

You recently said you only have sex with your husband. Is there a need to constantly answer such queries?
Well, a lot of people have preconceived notions of who I am — an adult film actor, reality star and movie actor. People think I have worked with many people in my career as an adult film actor. I haven’t and I don’t! I rarely work with multiple people in the adult film industry. I know it’s hard to believe, but in 12 years, I have done next to nothing when compared to the stuff that people actually do! I think it’s important for me to make such statements as people are curious.

Many say your movie was a let-down because you haven’t exposed much…
We have a different set of rules in India. There is a Censor Board we have to answer to, whose rules are pretty strict. There is an adult film industry everywhere. But I did this movie knowing it is mainstream Hindi cinema. I’m sorry for letting them down by not exposing (laughs). But hey! They bought the tickets, so I want to thank them!

People expect that your background will also spill onto the screen while doing mainstream cinema.
I’m from a different industry and country. It’s just my first film. But I know it’s going to take a long time for people to change their perception of me. Right now, I have this burning desire in me as an actor to convert my critics. I can act and I want to prove it to those who feel I can’t. I have left my past behind and I am looking forward to a new career.

Your debut was acclaimed, but as far as hotness-quotient goes, some felt it was a bit of a downer…
Well, maybe people compared this film with my earlier films and expected more bold scenes. You gotta draw the line somewhere when it comes to Bollywood — there are censor limitations and different sensitivities out there. But hopefully, if my fans are lucky, we’ll raise the bar next time.

Is it true you asked for your co-stars’ medical certificates?
In the work-culture I come from, we’re tested every 3 weeks and if these tests are not negative, we’re not allowed to work. That’s just how it works back in the West… In USA, the adult entertainment industry is extremely organised. Every adult entertainer is on a database — on record. You can’t just shoot films wherever you feel like, there are areas allocated for the purpose. Safety comes first.

Do you see adult entertainment making its way to India as a mainstream business?
Not at all! Even though people here have been watching adult entertainment since centuries, I don’t see it coming to India as an organised business.

Are you going to push the envelope further with Ragini MMS 2?
I think Ekta is a very bold filmmaker. I watched The Dirty Picture and was mesmerised. I just got a full narration of the story. I think some scenes in the film are going to leave the entire country shell-shocked!

Sherlyn Chopra says you might be an adult entertainer, but you aren’t the ‘ultimate fantasy’…
I don’t know how to react to that, but I have seen her photo shoot for the adult magazine. That magazine is mainstream in USA, and it’s good to be on its cover. Even I haven’t been on that cover yet, so great going! Maybe she can sign me a copy.

Who are the hottest female and male stars in Bollywood?
I love the way Vidya Balan carries herself. And as for the men, I think all of them must be working out 30 hours a day; they’re all so well-built and beefy.

You recently said you want to work with Salman, but you know, he doesn’t even kiss on screen…
Who doesn’t want to work with Salman? It’s okay if he doesn’t kiss, I’ll give him a high-five or something.

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