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Sunny Leone: Done everything wrong as per Indian culture

Last updated on: July 31, 2012 16:56 IST

Sunny Leone: I've done everything wrong as per Indian culture

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Love her or hate her, but you can't ignore Sunny Leone.

She came to the attention of Indian audiences when she participated in the last season of the TV reality show Bigg Boss.

Leone is now set to begin a new innings as she makes her Hindi film debut in Jism 2, which releases this week.

An Indo-Canadian adult movie actress, Leone is very excited about her debut, and believes generally conservative Indian audiences are ready to accept her.

In a candid conversation with Sonil Dedhia, Sunny ably defends the kind of work she does and explains why it doesn't bother her to be known as an adult entertainer.

How have your friends back home in the USA reacted to your acting in Jism-2?

All my friends are really excited. They are eager to watch the film. Most of them don't understand Hindi so they are hoping that the film releases with subtitles.

You have been in India on and off for the last nine months. Do you see a change in attitude towards you?

Just two days ago when I landed at the airport, people wanted to click pictures with me. They also wanted me to pose with their six-month-old baby!

Back in the USA, if I had done this, I would have been sued.

What is interesting is that people in India have two different perceptions of me. There is a Sunny Leone from Bigg Boss and Jism-2 and on the other hand there is a Sunny Leone who is a girl from the USA.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'Bipasha Basu is absolutely beautiful'

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Have you seen Jism?

I saw Jism and it was really fun to watch the film. It was part of my research. It gave me an idea of how the film is shot. It educated me about the various camera angles and how everything is put together.

Jism-2 is nothing like the first movie. There is no connection between the two. This movie is very sexy.

What do you think of Bipasha Basu's performance in Jism? There have been several comparisons...

I think Bipasha did an amazing job. I have never met her but she is absolutely beautiful.

She has been here since a long time and this is just my first film, so I am not on a level to be compared with her.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'I don't think I fit the regular mould in Indian cinema'

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Do you feel you were cast in the film for obvious reasons? Pooja Bhatt has said that you are the new fantasy of Bollywood.

Pooja was looking for something different. I don't think I fit the regular mould in Indian cinema. I believe she cast me for who I am.

A lot of people have mentioned that your presence in the film is mere eye-candy.

There will always be people who will say mean things and are not going to like you because it makes them feel better. It doesn't affect me at all. In fact, I think these people are just wasting their energies (laughs).

The film has been in the news for your presence alone. Does your profession as an adult entertainer overshadow your acting talent?

Viewers have just seen the promos of the film so the focus is on who I am and what I do in America.

I just hope people will watch the movie and say that I have done a good job in acting.

I have worked hard for this film. I have spent months learning the script and perfecting my Hindi. I have discovered a lot about myself and how this industry works.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'Speaking Hindi became easier for me than my body movements'

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Was shooting for intimate scenes awkward for you?

Every movie that I have made had as much feeling as required in Jism 2. The power of a lovemaking scene it to make you feel the emotion between the two characters as part of a story.

If you just have a lovemaking scene without a story, it will just be two people making out. Being in an adult film is completely different from being in mainstream films.

What was most challenging about Jism 2?

The challenging part in this movie was not to blink in close-up shots, and Pooja wanted me to do it perfectly.

The easiest thing was lines as I spent months learning Hindi, which I had never done earlier. Speaking Hindi became easier for me than my body movements (laughs).


Image: Randeep Hooda and Sunny Leone in Jism 2

Tags: Jism , Pooja

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'The intimate scenes will blow your socks off'

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Do you think your presence in the film will redefine sensuality in Indian cinema?

I don't know, but if it does redefine sexuality and sensuality in Indian cinema, so be it.

Is there going to be another film that will capture what Jism-2 has? I don't think so.

This is the vision of a director who has created magical moments on the sets and then in editing, creating the intimate scenes that will blow your socks off. I am sure it cannot be recreated.

So you agree the intimate scenes in the film are going to blow our socks off?

I think it might just blow your shirts off (laughs). I am just kidding. I don't know, as I haven't seen the film.

Is there the possibility of a backlash, of audiences not accepting you?

It's been almost 12 years and I have done every possible wrong thing under the sun. The movie has got an 'A' rating and the scenes in the film are not going to be as crazy as people think.

In my eyes I have done everything wrong as per Indian culture. I am nervous. I just want people to like the movie.

There are going to be people in every single country who are not going to accept me but I don't care about them.


Image: Sunny Leone

Tags: Indian

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'I love who I am and I love my job'

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Is there always a thought at the back of your mind that people just know you as an adult entertainer?

I don't regret anything that I have done in my entire life. I love who I am and I love my job.

Everything that I have done in my life has made me reach the place where I am today.

Being able to shoot for Jism-2 has been the best experience of my life. If it wasn't for the things I've done, I wouldn't have been in the film.

How does it feel being fancied by men for just carnal pleasure?

Every single person, man or woman, is excited by anything sexual. If they say they are not, they are usually lying.

Women buy fashion magazines to get knowledge about the best clothes or accessories or lingerie available in the market. Every single thing that a woman wears evokes sexuality in one-way or other. Women love movies that are love stories and have intimate scenes with men they want in their minds to be their ideal man.

There are times when women must wish their husbands were just like Salman Khan. That is why every woman is in love with him.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'India is a conservative country'

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Lots of people look down on your profession. What do you have to say to them?

I live life the way I want regardless of what people think about me. There are always people who are going to hate me and love me.

As far as changing perceptions about me is concerned, it can only happen if it wants to happen. I cannot do it physically or verbally. My fans are Sunny Leone fans. If you don't like me, don't watch my film (laughs).

Do you think Indian audiences are too judgemental about sex and titillation in films?

Every country is different. India is a conservative country. Not only India, I have faced a lot of issues in other countries as well.  People want to judge me and talk to me in a certain way because of my background. All you can do is change people's opinions one person at a time.

Most people who watch adult material are not comfortable talking about it as it is a very private thing for them.

Whether people want to admit it or not, sex is an emotion. It's 90 per cent in your brain. It's mainly about your mind being pleased over your body. Whether it is watching a movie that has a sexual scene in it or watching an adult film, it's all an emotion.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'Being on Bigg Boss has helped to remove tag of being an adult actor'

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Do you think India is ready for Sunny Leone?

I think they accepted me during my stint in Bigg Boss. I think a lot of the backlash already happened when I was on the show. A lot of noise was created about me being there on television and people watching me daily.

But people got to know me better as a person and, fortunately, things worked out for me. Had there not been a Bigg Boss, there wouldn't have been a Jism-2 in my life.

Now that you are working in India, is it going to affect your image back in the USA?

I think it will only do me good. Being on the show has helped to remove the stereotype or tag of being an adult actor.


Image: Sunny Leone


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'I would love to do a film with Salman Khan'

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Will your production house (Sun Lust Pictures) now take a backseat?

My production company releases three to five films a month and I don't work in any of them. We produce, direct and distribute adult material to countries where it is allowed.

I don't think I am going to work in any of the movies as I will be busy with my commitments in India.

Is there any particular actor that you are looking forward to working with?

I don't have a particular choice, but going by the people I know, I would love to do a film with Salman Khan.

Will we see you in another reality show?

I would never go back inside the Bigg Boss house. It is insane. I thought I would exit the house and never come back to India.

I am thankful that Bigg Boss opened a new world for me. Working in a Hindi film was something that I would have never imagined.

Image: Sunny Leone


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'I learnt every single word in this movie'

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Any plans of shifting base to India?

I have already signed up for another movie (Ragini MMS-2) but I can't talk about it right now.

I have also signed up for a lot of commercials and other appearances so I will be in India for most of the time.

Has your Hindi improved?

I learnt every single word in this movie. I spent months learning it and I am trying to catch up on the language as quickly as possible.


Image: Sunny Leone and Arunuday Singh in Jism 2

Tags: MMS-2 , India , Ragini

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