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This article was first published 2 years ago  » Movies » 'I don't want people to feel sorry for me'

'I don't want people to feel sorry for me'

March 08, 2022 15:39 IST
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'I don't believe in focusing on the bad things that have happened in my life.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

Sunny Leone is all set to play a secret agent in Vikram Bhatt's action-packed dhamaka, Anamika.

This is a Sunny who kicks and punches, pummels, plots and plans. And it's obvious that she is excited to debut in a new genre.

In a free-wheeling interview with Senior Contributor Roshmila Bhattacharya, the actress says, "I have had some gun training in the past because I thought it was important to understand how a real gun fires, how heavy it is, what it feels like. Holding a real gun can be scary!"

What is it that you want from this year, personally and professionally?

Definitely not another lockdown!

I want the Russian-Ukraine war to end.

Professionally, I believe that everything happens for a reason so I just have to keep pushing forward.

There are so many different things happening, if one doesn't work out, you move to another and try to make that work.

Of course, it hurts, but I am more worried about my children than myself.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

On International Women's Day, how would you review your journey through Bollywood which has been perceived as a male-dominated, sexist, quick-to-stereotype film industry?

I do not believe in focusing on the bad things that have happened in my life, to women and human beings in general.

We should instead reflect on how we overcame challenges and roadblocks, understood the psychology behind the behaviour of certain people, and how to work on ourselves so we can be the best 'me' possible.

IMAGE: Sunny Leone in Anamika. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

You look so convincing wielding a gun in the Web series Anamika that one wonders if you have had any prior training.

Yes, I have had some gun training in the past because I thought it was important to understand how a real gun fires, how heavy it is, what it feels like.

Holding a real gun can be scary!

I've had some fight training too.

Given the difficult times we are living, do you think it is imperative for all women to be trained in self-defence?

It is important for everyone to learn some self-defence skills, women in particular, if they are travelling alone or if they are going to be in situations where they need this kind of training.

It is also important for children to understand the difference between fighting and self-defence so that in case they get into a fight, they know how to take care of themselves.

IMAGE: Sunny Leone in Anamika. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

Parallels have been drawn between your OTT debut, Anamika and the Bourne series as well as the 2010 American action thriller Salt. Did you have any muses?

I don't know about muses, but I was sent several different action clips which gave me an idea of what Vikram sir (writer-director Vikram Bhatt) was looking for, how he wanted to shoot Anamika.

Angelina Jolie's Salt is amazing.

There are a few other films and TV shows which are also great.

What were the challenges?

The different action scenes, all those stunts, like climbing and punching and jumping and swinging from the harness, everything working in complete sync.

Hopefully, Anamika will be the beginning of more such shows.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

Today, the people of Ukraine are fighting to safeguard their country and identity.

I believe we can peacefully come to a conclusion, that is what the world set out to achieve with NATO and the UN.

We don't need this kind of aggression.

Innocent lives don't have to be lost for these leaders to find a common ground and achieve what they want.

Children should not be separated from their parents, families should be separated.

I know someone whose family is stuck there and all I can do is be there for her, ask her every single day how they are.

I want the war to end soon, I don't like to see my friend suffering and worrying about her family.

How difficult was the pandemic on you?

It was difficult for every single family, for parents and children who were caught in this together.

My biggest fear was contracting COVID and being separated from my children.

It would be extremely difficult for me to lock myself in another room and listen to my children on the other side.

I sanitise a lot more now.

I am more aware of my surroundings and I look forward to life getting back to normal and this stress lifting from my shoulders.


IMAGE: Sunny Leone with husband Daniel Weber, daughter Nisha and sons Noah and Asher. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

What have your children Nisha, Asher and Noah taught you?

(Laughs) My children have taught me so many different things, patience being one of them.

Since I have three, I have learnt that what I do with Nisha is very different from what I do with Asher or Noah.

Whether it's discipline, playing or things they are interested in, every child is different and should always be treated as a distinct individual.

I know your kids are still very young, but later, if they wanted to follow in your footsteps and become actors, would you encourage them or try to dissuade them from entering the film industry?

If my children wanted to get into films or the entertainment industry in some way, they would first have to prove to me that the interest is there.

Then, they should work really hard and learn the craft well.

I would back them 100 per cent in any way that I could.

As a parent, you want to eliminate some of the mistakes you made, help your children so they don't have to go through certain hardships.

But honestly, I want Nisha to grow up to be a surgeon.

I want to see her doing brain surgery with her tiny fingers. (Laughs) That's my dream.

And the boys?

I have no idea, they are still so young, just watching them grow is amazing!

Nisha's extremely intelligent, scary smart.

She has a photographic memory, yet, when I ask her to do something, she forgets.

(Laughs) I think she does it on purpose.

IMAGE Sunny Leone in the forthcoming Malayalam film Shero.

You recently stormed the South film industry as a leading lady. How different is Malayalam and Tamil cinema in its treatment of women, both on and off the screen?

What you put out there is what you get back.

I have not undergone any experiences that were horrible.

I am the wrong actress to ask such questions and get some sort of response that would make people feel sorry for me.

I don't want people to feel sorry for me.

They understand struggle.

We should all focus on our own happiness, and work towards becoming better people and achieving what we want to.

You wrote a book Sweet Dreams, which did well. Any plans of writing another? Or a script?

I have no plans to write another book.

If a script came to me that a production house was doing, I would give my inputs, see if they made sense to the writer and director.

What about hosting a show?

I love hosting shows, they are so much fun.

The psychology behind reality shows is super fascinating.

IMAGE: Sunny Leone in Bigg Boss season 5.

Would you allow yourself to be locked in the Bigg Boss house again?

Absolutely not!

It was an experience, I learnt a lot about myself and people on the show.

I was thankful then for getting this platform then, for what it did for me.

Every year, when I go on the show to say hello to the contestants, there's a feeling of connectivity.

I understand how it feels to be stuck there, I understand the emotional journey of the house mates.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sunny Leone/Instagram

You have a supportive husband in Daniel who is a great father to your three kids.

I am very lucky Daniel is so hands-on.

He adores the children, wants to take care of them and me, in fact, anybody he encounters in his immediate work circle.

He is such an amazing man!

What makes the marriage such a success?

Common ground.

Marriage is all about trust. And respect.

Daniel and I are also best friends.

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