Patcy N in Mumbai
For someone who is only a year old in Bollywood, Sunny Leone has grabbed quite a few movie projects.
The Jism 2 actress claims that she gets scripts every day, with characters ranging from sexy to demure.
Patcy N caught up with Sunny on the sets of her latest film Jackpot in Goa, where she's shooting alongside her husband Daniel Webber for the first time.
In a candid chat, Sunny tells us why she won’t give up doing ‘bold’ roles and why her life is actually very boring.
How has life changed after Jism 2?
Life actually changed after Bigg Boss, because it launched my career here in India.
Your first movie is definitely something that changes your life.
Being on tour and seeing so many people interested in the movie and in me amazed me.
'I get about two or three scripts a day'
What kind of scripts are you getting?
I get scripts almost every single day. In fact, multiple scripts every day!
People want me to read their stories which I’m happy to do because I love reading.
If something catches my attention then we take the next step of finding out about the production company and who all are involved in the movie.
How many scripts do you get in a day?
I am not kidding, I get about two or three a day.
'If people knew about my everyday life, they would say Sunny is so boring'
What kinds of roles are offered to you?
They vary from very sexy and bold characters to very demure ones. It varies from love stories to thrillers, whatever any other actor would get.
Now that you are getting a variety of roles are you avoiding the more sexy ones?
I have no pre-conception about which role I want to take beforehand. When you start saying that this is the only kind of role you will do, or this is the only kind of person you want to be, you limit yourself as an actor.
What everybody forgets is that movies are fiction. They are just stories. Who cares if that person is a ‘bold’ character as people say here? Who cares if a person is a drug dealer?
We watch movies because we like to see other characters, we like to see how that person portrays that other character. If it was your everyday person why would we go to the movies?
If people knew about my everyday life, they would say Sunny is so boring. But I’m not boring on screen.
'We have a very normal, conservative husband-wife relationship'
Why would people think your personal life is boring?
Because I go to bed at 9:30 pm. I don’t like to party or drink too much. A lot of people on the sets will tell you I am not that exciting.
At home, we cook a lot. We go out to eat a lot as well. We lead a very normal life.
You lead a normal life?
We have a very normal, conservative husband-wife relationship. We have an exciting life as well -- we travel a lot, we see new places and meet new people.
Are you dependent on your husband?
When you are husband and wife, naturally you are dependent on each other, but we are both really very independent people.
'Bigg Boss was the best thing that happened to me'
Were things the same when you landed in Mumbai the first time? How did people here accept you?
I think Bigg Boss was the best thing that happened to me because if I had come here as Sunny Leone -- a girl from adult entertainment in America -- people would have perceived me as something else.
When they got to see me on television and my everyday life, they realised that I am not all about jumping on a table and taking my clothes off or doing crazy things. I am just normal.
The audience -- consisting of moms, dads, children, grandmothers and fathers -- watched me on television and said ‘I don’t get it, but she seems like a nice person’.
What made you say yes to Jackpot?
I liked Kaizad’s (director Kaizad Gustad) story.
When I read the script, I didn’t want to put it down. I hope that the film turns out the same.
The character I am playing is someone very different from my personal life. Sometimes I hate her. It is a very fast-paced story.
'Naseeruddin Shah is very calm and reserved'
You are working with Naseeruddin Shah -- one of Bollywood’s finest actors -- in Jackpot. Were you intimidated?
Of course, who wouldn’t be?
I have seen his movies. He is a lot of fun to work with. When you get him to laugh, it’s the best feeling.
On the first day of the shoot I told him that if he had any advice for me I would gladly follow it. If he told me I was horrible in a shot and I should try it some other way, I would never be offended; I would be grateful to him for telling me.
Did he give you any advice?
No, he didn’t. He is very calm and reserved. He gives suggestions occasionally.
'I won't be able to replicate this phase in my life'
How are you preparing for your role in Jackpot?
I spent lots of time with Kaizad to familiarise myself with the character. We conducted rehearsals and workshops. I had to take diction classes too.
You work really hard. We heard you were shooting for two films simultaneously?
It is really important for me to give everything I have to my work because I think this is a phase in my life that I won’t be able to replicate.
I do dance and fight rehearsals with Devang Dholakia for an action movie called Tina and Lolo. We will start shooting next month.
I have another movie with a big producer but I can’t talk about it right now.
Have you finished shooting Ragini MMS 2?
There is a song to be shot, otherwise it’s done.
'Mom and I would watch movies and cry together'
Did you watch Hindi films when you were growing up? Which is your favourite film?
I did watch Hindi films. My favourite was Aamir Khan’s Dil. My mom and I would watch movies and cry together.
Who is your idol in the Hindi film industry?
I love Madhuri Dixit. I got to meet her on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. I was very nervous and very excited.
What was the last Hindi film you watched?
UTV gave me a booklet of their top 10 movies, and the last one I watched was Jodhaa Akbar. It was fantastic.