How did you bag Mastizaade?
My husband Daniel Weber met the film’s producer Rangita Nandy and director Milap Zaveri. I don’t usually do meetings – it’s he who sorts these things out. Before the meeting even ended, Daniel called me and said, ‘You have to do this film’. And that was pretty much it!
Seems, you depend a lot on him…
Though we work closely, there is a lot of difference in our approach. I look mostly into creative aspects while he’s involved with the business side. He filters content from his own end, but ultimately, it depends on whether I like the story or not.
Most of your films capitalise on your sensuous adult star image. Do you ever feel the need to break away from that stereotype?
Sunny Leone is my creation, I can’t get away from what I spent so many years creating. I had no idea that I was going to be in Bollywood and honestly, I am fine with the way things are. What I have learnt is, it really matters who you choose to work with in this industry. The relationship you share with your directors and producers is very important. As far as typecasting me is concerned, I really have no control over it.
You can choose to do movies that don’t depend solely on your sex appeal...
There are a couple of upcoming films, which are more in the serious space. So, I will get a fair idea if these roles work for me and more importantly, if there is an audience willing to see me in such roles. At the end of the day, I am here to entertain.
Do you feel a sense of acceptance now? From computer screens, you have entered the living rooms of millions of Indians...
I was that little secret nobody wanted to talk about. And now, here I am. Bigg Boss changed my life in a way I couldn’t have imagined. It made me accessible in the sense that everybody could openly talk about me. After Bigg Boss, I was all set to fly off and carry on with my life in the US. It was Pooja Bedi who suggested that I settle down in India. Now, this is where I want to be, even if it means living two lives.
Like you said, the industry largely depends on interpersonal relationships and you aren’t particularly social from what one gathers...
I feel very shy and nervous. I remember, Amitabh Bachchan was standing right next to me once and all I could do was smile awkwardly. He probably thought I was a pretentious person!
How’s your equation with Ekta Kapoor now? Things had gone awry a while ago, after you reportedly refused XXX...
It’s fine. In fact, I recently met her at Box Cricket League and she was really warm. As far as XXX is concerned, I was never supposed to do that movie. I don’t even have an idea what it is about.
If one were to strip you off of the sensuality, glamour and the ‘image,’ what is the real Sunny Leone all about?
I feel the world perceives me as Laila Lele (her character in Mastizaade) – someone who is over-the-top sexy, glamorous and hot. And then, there is her twin sister, Lily (her other character in the film). She is conservative, shy, goofy and nerdy and has long curly hair! I think of all the characters I have played so far, Lily is the closest to my real-life personality.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love?
With a boy?
Could be a girl...
(Laughs) No, sorry everyone! It wasn’t a girl. I was in high school and had moved to a new small town. He was extremely cute and I was completely besotted. It was a beautiful, dreamy, poetic romance but as a good Punjabi girl, I wasn’t allowed to have boyfriends. But I did, secretly!
Sounds like it resulted in a lot of heartache!
It did. We moved away, all the way to California. And that was that. I was completely heart-broken, but my parents were probably happy. They didn’t like him too much.
You spoke about your desire to become a mother. Is that going to happen anytime soon?
My husband and I think about having children, but in the future. Right now is NOT the right time. But eventually, I do want babies. All my friends have children and I want one too!
Thumbnail Image Source: facebook/MastizaadeFilm, Manav Manglani & sunnyleonetubes