By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Post the release of her Bollywood debut Jism 2, Sunny Leone opens her heart to Subhash K Jha about her Indian and Bollywood plans. As she chats, Sunny Leone says she is not ashamed of her past.
Q: Has your family seen Jism 2?
My parents are no more. I’ve a brother. He doesn’t understand too much Hindi. So I hope to show him a subtitled print. Most of my friends and family are in LA. I want to sit with them and watch my film. It’s the only film I’ve done so far that I can watch with my family (laughs).
Q: What’s your second film going to be?
It’s Ragini MMS 2. That’s my second film. It will be shot closer to the end of the year.
Q: Your voice in Jism 2 is dubbed by an Indian dubbing artiste Smita Malhotra. Don’t you think your performance would have come out better if you had spoken your own lines?
Yes, I realize that. My Hindi needs improvement. I am definitely using my own voice in my next film. I wish I had worked more closely with my Hindi tutor over my Hindi during Jism 2. I was having so much fun shooting for this film I forgot to concentrate on improving my Hindi. It was a mistake.
Q: It’s like two different performances, yours and the dubbing artiste’s?
Yes, I am aware of that. But my consolation is, that they would have used a dubbing artiste for me no matter how much better my Hindi got. They (the Bhatts) do it with a lot of artistes. It’s a directorial choice.I’ve spent a lot of time on my Hindi. But I am still not equipped to have a conversation in Hindi yet. It’s more important for me to express myself properly than to create an impression of being conversant in any language.
Q: Among your new fans there’s Ram Gopal Varma. He has asked me to tell he loves you?
Did he say that?I appreciate that. I hope we work together soon.
Q: They are burning your effigies and tearing down your posters in India ?
What can I say? I am flattered by the attention (laughs). Jokes aside, in the entertainment business no matter what you do some groups of people are going to have issues about it. Luckily for me, there are more people liking me than disliking me. That’s the reason I returned to India after Bigg Boss to make a film. My husband and I have gone through the laws and regulations of this country (regarding pornography) and I’m conducting myself accordingly (girlish giggles). I get really good vibes from India.
Q: I don’t think the laws here care about what you do in the US?
That’s exactly why I’m comfortable here.Everything is happening so fast. I never thought I’d be making a movie in India. I can’t believe what’s happening! I know a lot of critics in India don’t like me. And that’s fine. Everyone has the prerogative to judge me according to what they think of me from earlier on .
Q: On one end they tear down your poster on the other end the government invites you for their functions. Isn’t that ironical?
(Laughs) First of all, the supposedly offensive poster is not me. The girl in the poster is someone else. I think the protest is directed more at the concept than the individual. I don’t think the protests have to do with me. It’s the whole package. They’ll tear down a poster,we’ll put up another one. I think controversies and notoriety are used by people for their own purposes.You’ve to figure out the best way of dealing with the situation. No one should get hurt.I guess there will be people trying to tear me down regardless of what I do.
Q: Doesn’t it offend you when people judge you as a porn star rather than a debutante in Jism 2?
(Thinks) People will judge me the way they like. I can’t change what I am or what I did in the past. I can’t go from door-to-door asking everyone to delete my past. Not that I am apologetic or ashamed of my past. The key factor is here that I did what I did without any shame or guilt.
Q: Many people are surprised to see you can actually act.
I think many people went into the film with pre-conceived notions about what they were going to see. At least I’ve changed that. I am truly blessed. I had never planned a Bollywood career. I had no idea this was the way my career would turn out. I never dreamt of a career here.
Q: Have you shifted to India?
I haven’t technically moved home to India. My home is still in Los Angeles. But fact is, I’m spending much more time in India than the place that I call home. To be honest, I no longer know where home is, or what the future holds for me.
Q: Where do you feel at home now?
In any of the hotels that I stay in. I unpack, put my things in the cupboard and say, ‘Okay I am home now.’ It’s a make-believe game.
Q: That sounds rather sad?
Don’t get me wrong. My life is not that sad. They say home is where the heart is. And my husband is with me wherever I go. So I am happy .Wherever we are , LA, Italy or India, he’s with me. So my life doesn’t feel incomplete in any way. I’m always on the road.
Q: So where will you be in the next couple of months?
Well, we’re almost done with the promotion of Jism 2 . Thereafter I am going to be in Mumbai for two weeks every month. In America I lead a bi-coastal life, moving from one end to the other of the US. Now I guess I’ll lead a bi-continental life.I’ll be in India lot more than people think.
Q: When are you back next?
Q: Once and for all are you done with pornography?
I am not sure. I ‘ll always own my adult-content production company. But I don’t have to act in our productions. To be honest, I was trying to make a transition even before Bollywood beckoned. I’ve been in the adult industry since 2001. At some point you’ve got to hang up those heels. I am not that young any more. I can’t be continuing acting in adult films. So my company will produce films.
Q: But you won’t act in them?
I think there’s a misconception here in Mumbai regarding my adult output. People feel when I go to the US I am running on the streets naked. That I make hundreds of these adult films. Last year, I made one adult film. This year I’ll probably be in none. I am too engulfed in India and Bollywood.
Q:So you’ve no time for pornography?
This is a new chapter in my life. It’s such an amazing opportunity. It would downright stupid of me not to give it my hundred percent. I want to make the best of it. These days I’ve Hindi lessons in the morning. Then I watch one Hindi film every day. And then Bollywood dancing. I’ll follow that routine even when I am in LA. I was serious about my adult-movie career. And I gave it my hundred percent. I learnt a lot about the business side of the adult industry while I was acting in my films. Now I’m equally serious about Bollywood career.
Q: Achcha aapko Hindi filmon mein kaun pasand hai?
Mujhe Salman Khan pasand tha. Aur abhi maine dekha ek Hrithik Roshan movie . Mujhe mohabbat ho gayi. John Abraham bhi bahut achcha hai.
Q: Okay I hope you work with them soon.
I hope they don’t get scared away. But here’s my promise to you. My next interview with you would be entirely in Hindi. Pukka promise.