Mahesh Bhatt: Sunny Leone is a brave woman
The fact that she's called Sunny could have been a bonus for Mahesh Bhatt for wanting to cast her in his next film, Jism 2.
Sunny happens to be Mahesh's son Rahul's nickname. So the Bhatts have grown up loving the name.
Bhatt refuses to label Sunny Leone as a porn star.
He speaks to Sheikh Ayaz about his short stint in the Bigg Boss house, and of course, his new heroine.
What was it like to be on Bigg Boss?
I was loved by one and all. It was an experience of an unusual kind, where you went into a human aquarium and where you have fascinating people who are 24/7 watched by this entertainment-hungry nation.
Image: Sunny Leone and Mahesh Bhatt in Bigg Boss
'I found Sunny to be a transparent girl'
What appealed to you about Sunny Leone?
Sunny is a brave woman. She doesn't use the narrative of a tragic queen who ultimately has to settle for whatever that comes her way. She says that it was her choice and her choice alone that led her to do what she is doing.
She says I will not abandon it because it's a flourishing business. I found her to be a transparent girl who is in touch with her emotional depths and has the determination and resolve to see herself through.
Image: Mahesh Bhatt chats with Sunny Leone
'I went there on a job - to talk to Sunny about Jism 2'
What do you think about reality shows otherwise?
I went there on a job -- to talk to Sunny about Jism 2. Interacting with other people was like an extra, served on the plate which wasn't asked for.
I found the two-hour experience enriching and have come back nourished and invigorated because when you touch the subterranean nature of a reality show which is such a rage, it gives you a taste of the nation's consciousness and the direction that public taste is taking.
Image: Sunny Leone and Mahesh Bhatt
'I am a people's person'
Did you have any reservations about entering the house?
I thought my five-and-half hour interaction was impossible to reproduce in that 45 minutes segment. Although a lot of things were left out the essential core of my visit and what I said was very successfully transported and captured.
Why does a well-regarded writer-filmmaker like you have to appear on such a show?
I went to connect with the people. I did not use that platform to be admired. I am a people's person. I consume people. I love to inspire and get inspired. I love people who have distinctive, unique personalities who are not in assembly lines and have something to offer. Those are the kind of people one would meet at the Bigg Boss house.
Image: Mahesh Bhatt and Sunny Leone
'What I love about his work is that he respects the female form'
Of late, you have been promoting The Dirty Picture. What do you like the most about the film?
It has the audacity to capture the life of an unusual woman who was with us till as late as the 90s. It opens brilliantly and I saw people were enjoying themselves. The second half has a sombre note but the multiplex audience will love that. Between Milan's Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai and this, I would pick this.
You have tweeted that, 'It's time for me to celebrate the triumph of my chela (protege).' Has your one-time assistant Milan come of age?
He has evolved. What I love about his work is that he respects the female form. He looks at them with great reverence and respect. He's going to get better - and better.
Image: Mahesh Bhatt speaks to the housemates