You can never have an overdose of Sunny Leone. Not even after two back-to-back bombs in Bollywood (Ek Paheli Leela and Kuch Kuch Locha Hai, for the uninitiated). Because there are three things that make her films stand out from the clutter: Sunny, sensuousness, and skin… and a lot of it to boot!
We caught up with the Indo-Canadian diva, otherwise called Karenjit Kaur Vohra, on her 34th birthday for a freewheeling chat on her films, the choices she’s made, B’town’s heroes (all men are the same, she says), and her position in Bollywood’s pecking order. And guess what? Sunny’s never opened up like this before.
With Ek Paheli Leela and Kuch Kuch Locha Hai, you had two back-to-back releases this year. Is this your best birthday in India this year?
Well, considering one did well and one did not, I guess it’s mixed feelings. I guess I am happy that I have one more release this year, and hopefully people will enjoy it.
Sunny Leone in a still from Ek Paheli Leela.
Do you think you are percieved differently between now and the time when made your grand entry in India via Bigg Boss 5 in 2011?
Yes I do. So many amazing things have happened over the last few years and, to be honest, I feel this is just the beginning. There are some amazing exciting things I have planned this year for everyone and I can’t wait to release the information.
You’re doing many films and it seems you’ve finally arrived in Bollywood.
Yes I have arrived and I am here to stay for hopefully a long time. I have carved my own path and will continue living on my own terms.
Do you ever see yourself in the coveted A-list club? Or, is it a lost battle for you because of how you are perceived?
I think any entertainer would like to be considered an A-lister. Perception is everything and I am still trying to figure it out. Like I have said in the past, I don’t have a godfather or godmother, mentor, or someone who has been in the industry a long time that I consult with. I have Daniel Weber (husband) and between the both of us we try and make as wise decisions as possible. Sometime we make great ones, and sometimes we make mistakes. But, I can guarantee, we definitely learn from the good and especially the bad. And when things don’t go well, we both get beyond fired up to go above and beyond to keep building the brand. We might fall but we get up and keep fighting.
Sunny Leone in a still from Kuch Kuch Locha Hai.
What does Sunny Leone’s list of actors she’d love to work with looks like?
I want to work with actors who want to work with me. Plain and simple. I like Priyanka Chopra and Shraddha Kapoor.
Having survived in the industry for so many years now, do you think it’s time for you to move on to bigger projects with established actors?
I would love to but you can only work on what’s on the plate. Hopefully in the future I can work on bigger projects.
What do you think of Indian men?
I think men all over the world are pretty much the same. But, the difference would be culture and religion. I love how my parents raised us and how my father was with my mother and me. He adored my mother. He was a great man.
It seems the audience has already accepted you, but was it as easy it sounds?
Not at all. I fight and I push forward when no one else wants me to. My husband and I work very hard to be creative in branding “Sunny Leone”.
What types of roles you are looking for?
I mainly try and focus on good stories so it doesn’t matter if I am a positive character or one that is slightly grey. In most of my movies, I am the lead character. But as I have learned, it’s not just the story that matters.
We have talked to some directors and all of them said that you’re witty, intelligent and a go getter to the core. What’s it then that’s stopping you from experimenting with your roles?
Again, it’s about what is offered. I tried to pick different roles this year. The only one that is left that falls in the same space as my past roles is Masti Zaade and then after that movie the others are very different.
Your established image is extremely glamorous. Are your upcoming films going to break that perception?
A couple of them are definitely going to be less glamorous… where the story is not based around glamour.
What are your birthday plans?
I am doing what I love. I am working. I’ll be in Goa shooting Splitsvilla 8.