n conversation with the stunning Sunny about films, roles, love and more…
A glamed up doll with bright red lips, or pink maybe, a super hot outfit that’ll make every girl go green with envy and a lot of starry tantrums – that’s what I expected when I went for my first interview with Sunny Leone! Well, she was running late by an hour and my doubts about the starry tantrums were only reaffirmed. Also while I was waiting, I was thinking of how to tackle her clingy husband, Daniel Weber. At least that’s what I had heard that he’s like this body guard who doesn’t give her any space and would not let me ask questions and… well a lot of other things. And then…
Someone called me and I looked up to see Daniel smiling warmly at me and apologizing for the delay. I have to say I was surprised by his humility. He walked me to Sunny and I froze, thankfully for just a fraction of a second. And no, it wasn’t because of her stunning beauty (which BTW is true), but because I saw this petite girl dressed in a pair of denims and fancy red top curling up her nude lips in a sweet smile. She got up to greet me and soon my nervousness vanished leading me into an easy, smooth conversation with Sunny about life in Bollywood, controversies and troubles, dream roles and films, love and romance, and much much more.
And guess what? Her so-called clingy husband sat far away, on another table, all by himself. Not monitoring, not disturbing and not being clingy at all! Whoever bestowed that awful title on Daniel must have been insanely jealous of him! Anyway…
Here’s what I talked about with Sunny ‘Not So Starry’ Leone…
How’s Bollywood treating you?
So far so good! Daniel and I work together most of the time. We’ve had a lot of ups, we’ve had a lot of downs. I’d say more ups than downs, which is a good thing. It hasn’t been easy. To the outside world, when somebody peers into our world, it looks like everything has come so easy, but it hasn’t. It’s been a struggle. There’ve been moments when we definitely get hit hard and then we just bounce back haste fast because we have to keep working.
Which would you say was the worst moment of them all…
Recently with this lady that filed an FIR. It was probably one of the worst moments.
Do you plan on taking any action against this unwanted trouble that comes your way because of your past?
In this country it’s not something that’s easily done. There are no laws protecting different artists and celebrities or people that are in entertainment. There are no laws against defaming, there are no laws against people writing and doing crazy things. So until those laws are in place, there’s not much I can do. I have to just take it. We are working towards coming to some sort of resolution with all this. God-willing that’s going to happen. I’m not here to offend anybody, I’m not here to continue the path that I was on. I’ve come to India to start a new life, to start something that is not a part of my path. I’ve come here to make a new future.
You’ve always maintained that you loved everything about the adult industry. But of late there’s been a sudden change in your statements. Why so?
Because I’ve been forced to! I still love everything about the adult industry but I’ve been forced to say that I’m here to do this (work in Bollywood) because people are so horrible and mean. Not everybody, but there are certain groups, certain sections who seem to have a personal vendetta against me because I’ve hurt them so horribly (laughs sarcastically)… I don’t get it. I have to start clarifying my reason for being here because of those people. And also because the media has made it such a big issue. If the media didn’t recognize my porn star past as a big issue it wouldn’t have become so big.
But in a culture like India’s, your past might still have been a problem even without the media’s help…
It still would have been something I had to deal with but if it wasn’t created into such a huge thing with the media and online circulation then those people would have never gone to that level because all this is being done for publicity.
You’ve said the same thing about Celina Jaitley and Rakhi Sawant’s statements too
My response is pretty much the same every time. I never say anything bad about anybody. And also it is non-sense. So if those two want to be categorized in the same group of people who create non-sense then what am I supposed to do. I can’t call her and say why are you doing this, this is not true or why are you doing all these mean things. They are just doing it for publicity.
Coming to the work front, what’s the update on Mastizaade and Tina and Lolo?
My producers are very secretive. They don’t even give me an update. I know that they’ve been working very hard and hopefully we’ll have an answer soon.
I heard that the films have been shelved…
That’s just something the media started. Nothing’s over yet. It’s (Tina and Lolo) still in the process of being approved and it will be a real shame if it doesn’t because it’s actually a great film and it’s so funny. It’s not as crazy as people think. May be it might be because my outlook of cinema is very different than other people. I don’t take it seriously; it’s all fiction. The great thing is that is you don’t like that kind of content you don’t have to buy a ticket. No body’s forcing you to watch it. I play twin sisters Tina and Lolo and I love both characters.
All you characters so far have always been glamorized. Do you think it’s because of your past or is it that you aren’t ready to leave your comfort zone yet?
There are a lot of movies that I signed a long time ago and they finished all around the same time. So it looks like they are all very very similar. But next few movies that I’m working on are in this very serious drama zone and a few comedies too.
No matter what the story, your films are always marketed around your sexuality, like Ek Paheli Leela had a lot more than just skin show. Are you okay with it or do you not have a say in it?
I don’t really have a say in how they take it forward. Certain things I definitely voice saying that I don’t like this and I won’t promote it, you can do whatever you want… because at the end of the day it is owned by somebody else. So how they showcase something is really upto them. If I don’t like it I don’t promote it.
You said in one of your earlier interviews that you choose films based on scripts. Would the criteria be same if the film starred the Khans, Kumars or Kapoors?
Whenever I’ve watched any of the films of Shah Rukh or Salman, I’ve realised they don’t really make films that are boring. They usually make films that are very very interesting for the most part; a couple of them might not have been so great, but mostly they are. So it works out for the best. But if I were offered a character in one of their films that I didn’t like, I wouldn’t do it. I mean it has to be something I’m comfortable with… A couple of movies that I’ve watched, not theirs, like different movies… I felt like that’s not the zone I want to be in. But yes if an A-List actor wants me to do a cameo I’d say yes and if they asked how much I wanted, I’d say absolutely nothing! You know at that point it’s only about working with people you’ve admired for so many years. It’s the same thing as in the US, if Leonardo Dicaprio’s camp asked me if I wanted to do a cameo in his film I wouldn’t ask for money. I would do it because I’ve been dying to work with him.
So far, all your films have been centered around you, but if you sign a film with one of the A-Listers, aren’t you worried that the focus would shift?
If I were being side-zoned by Mr Salman Khan, I don’t care. It would be fine, even Shah Rukh. It’s not that I want a film to be all about me, I just want to make a good product.
Daniel too is making his Bollywood debut with Dangerous Husn. Can we expect to see you two pair up onscreen?
I actually want to make a film with Daniel. It’s all about finding the perfect script that captures his personality and mine and the chemistry we have. So it has to have these elements in the movie that really capture who we are naturally. I don’t know if I’m making sense… Like if I ever think of a movie that Daniel and I could have been in, it is Mr and Mrs Smith. Even though it’s an action movie, I almost feel like some of the scenes that these two have are actually how they are in real life because they are so natural.
How would you define your personality and Daniel’s in one word?
It’s very difficult to define Daniel in one word!
Okay you can use more…
Daniel is extremely grounded; he is extremely smart when it comes to business – handling the company, handling my career and his own. He’s very very organized and he’s very sharp. And something that people don’t know about him is that he’s very silly. He’ll never show you, you’ll probably never see that side of him; but I’m the lucky one and I get to see that every day. I see a different Daniel from what people see – a loving, caring one who makes me laugh all day long. He’s very supportive.
When it comes to my personality, people visualize and think that I’m exactly how they see on TV or what people try to portray me as. But if they spent 5 minutes with me they would know that I’m very goofy, I’m a little clumsy, I’m very determined when it comes to my job. I’d rather be working every single day than take a vacation. I work a lot.
Is Daniel a workaholic too?
Oh yes! We are both workaholics, but we spend some amazing time together. Every single morning we make breakfast together and we sit and we eat together. We talk about anything and everything. And it’s very rare that we have an argument (let me knock wood here so we don’t have a fight later). Obviously we disagree like any normal couple but we talk it through and reach a compromise. It’s never my way or the highway… that doesn’t work in a relationship. So it’s all about give and take.
From what you’re saying, your idea of romance sounds very different from the Spiltsvilla idea of romance…
Well Spiltsvilla is a very teenage, early 20s kind of romance. We all know what kind of mental state we were in when we were 19 or 20 and what we are in now which is may be 5 years or 10 years or even 15 years later. The decisions we make in our teens and early 20s are all based on our hormones (laughs). There can’t be anybody older than 25-30 who can disagree with this because that’s just the way it is. Those dolphins that we have in our tummies when we meet someone for the first time, it dictates a very irrational decision. Spiltsvilla is very young love… We put the couples in different situations that challenge them mentally and physically.
But a lot of your challenges objectify both men and women…
Well when you watch any reality show whether it’s in India, whether it’s in the US, whether it’s anywhere, part of the lure of watching is seeing things and doing things that you would never do in real life. May be that’s what the youth wants; they want to be hot and good looking. It might seem like objectification to the older group but not to them… they’re the ones doing it, we dint force them to do anything. Like the theme this season is ‘what women want, what women love,’ so I would remind these girls, and so would Ranvijay, that if you don’t want to do something, you need to speak up. And we’ll never force anybody to do something they don’t want to. The boys just did whatever they wanted any way, but for the girls on the show, we did emphasize that if they are uncomfortable, they need to speak up.
Any particular role or reality show or TV show you want to take up?
I really always wanted to play a superwoman. I know actors often say that they want to play this serious role or that serious role and make this type of art film… I just want to make entertaining cinema and I want to have fun doing it. And I always wanted to be a superhero, since I was a little kid.
And what would your super power be?
I would definitely want some sort of flying and some sort of super strength to be able to move things out of my way… I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do it, but yes that’s something that interests me.
You once said that your parents were very religious and that you visited the temple every weekend as a child. Do you still?
As a kid I went to the Gurudwara every weekend and my brother and I were forced to do kirtan. Now I realize that it was a good thing. In fact, Daniel and I had a Punjabi wedding; we got married in a Gurudwara. Since both my parents had passed away, it was very important to me that even though they are not here, the tradition got carried forward.
You say you’re a big fan of Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai and that you’d be starstruck on seeing them. But now that you’ve achieved so much, would you still?
Oh my gosh, yes! I so haven’t met them and I so want to meet them.