Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who passed into the ages on September 28, once hosted starlet Sherlyn Chopra at the Playboy Mansion.
Sherlyn shares the experience.
Sherlyn Chopra was the first Indian to feature on the cover of Playboy, posing in the nude.
The photo shoot took place at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, in the presence of the magazine's founder-owner Hugh Hefner.
Sherlyn shared her Playboy experience with Ankur Pathak in an exclusive interview, first published on Rediff.com in 2012.
How was the experience at the Playboy Mansion?
It was really too good to be true!
The entire environment was so exciting and liberating and full of creative energies.
The staff, the girls, the photo shoot team and above all the ultimate Playboy, Mr Hefner, were all very kind and affectionate.
Tell us about the photo shoot.
It was a five-day shoot which took place outside the mansion at a beautiful villa.
I was asked to not pose in the nude, but just feel different kinds of emotions.
The team was phenomenal. The photographer, Sasha, and I bonded quite effortlessly which made things very comfortable for me.
As it is, I'm most comfortable being nude.
When was the first time you met Hugh Hefner and how did they come to know about you?
I wrote to Mr Hefner with my interests in May and I arrived in Los Angeles at the Playboy mansion in July.
I was told that the creative team had done a thorough search on me on the Internet.
Mr Hefner is the most decent man I've ever met in my whole life.
Was there any money involved?
I would have done it even without a pay cheque.
But they did insist on money, and the pay cheque was an icing on the cake.
What exactly did you mean when you said that your father must be proud?
I believe stripping nude for an iconic adult magazine is no less than setting oneself free from rigid social conventions.
Had my father been alive, he would have been super proud to see me create history by being the first Indian to have shot for Playboy.
So is that the agenda behind this exercise?
Did you want to be the first Indian on the cover and garner all the publicity, or does being nude make you feel liberated in general?
There's no hidden agenda as such.
I wanted to be the first one to do it and I went ahead and did it.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would love to do it again and again and again.
My sole agenda is to constantly break stereotypes.
Pushing the envelope gives me a great high!
What is the best comment you have received for the Playboy photo shoot?
One member of the team who was a part of the shoot told me that my sensuality is not superficial, but comes from within my core.
I think that is what I considered the most flattering compliment as it isn't just about revealing your body, but the erotica should translate in a sensuous manner.
Do you think there are any other actresses in Bollywood who can dare to pose for Playboy like you did?
Of course yes! Indians are not coy anymore.
Are you a Playboy reader or do you enjoy reading erotica in general?
I love the art of erotica!
More than watching or reading erotica, I enjoy displaying it.
Can you name one Bollywood actor who you would like to see naked on the cover of a magazine?
There are quite a few hotties in Bollywood who are very photogenic and have beautiful curvaceous bodies. So, picking just one name would be unfair.
What about your personal life? Has Sherlyn Chopra ever been in love?
I feel truly blessed for my life. Yes, I have been in love.
Yes, I've had relationships which now I think I could easily do without.
The day I find my soul mate, I would take the initiative to propose to him/her and you will know for sure.
Do you feel this will boost your Bollywood career in any way?
If it does, great! If it doesn't, I shall be happy to pack my bags and move to LA.
What do you think of Sunny Leone?
I'm very proud of her.
What would you like to tell the actresses who refuse to even don a bikini for a film?
Nothing. However, I believe that when one has a fabulous body, one is most often than not at ease with it.
Where do you go from here? Are you open to working in an adult film?
I'm open to all kinds of excellent work opportunities.
Adult films have a huge market, so why not?
Who have been Sherlyn Chopra's role models? Personalities who you continue to seek inspiration from?
Madonna is my ultimate role model.
And more recently, girls such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna who have a distinctive sense of individuality.
Photographs: Kind courtesy Sherlyn Chopra/Instagram.