Bollywood

One-on-one with Sunny Leone: My husband takes a call on whether I should sign a film or not

Mastizaade is your first release this
year and you begin it on a very naughty note. How excited or scared are you to
face another fiery Friday?

Well right now, it’s just excitement that has occupied my
mind and I am not scared as yet, but I am sure as we are closer to the release,
there will be butterflies in my stomach and nervousness and all that stuff. We
have waited for a very long time for this movie to release and finally its
releasing so there is a lot of excitement and joy. Also this is the first
interview that I am giving for the film and it sort of marks the beginning of
our promotional campaign. The night before the release is when I am going to
get scared. (Laughs)

It’s completely
different from the kinds of Bollywood films you have been part of in last four
years. How happy and content are you with the way the film has shaped up?

I have already watched it twice and I found it really
funny. I am sure a lot of people will find it very funny. It’s not the kind of
movie where you have to think too hard to understand what’s going on. It’s
absolute fun and I hope people go with an open mind to watch the film and not
with any pre-conceived notions. Indians love these kinds of movies where you
can just go, laugh and have fun with your friends.

You are playing a
double role for the first time. Which of these two characters is closer to your
real self?

There are twin characters, Lily Lele and Laila Lele.
Laila is how people have seen me and have known of me – very sexy, over-the-top
bombshell kind of a character and Lily is more like how I am in real self. She
is conservative; I know it’s very hard for people to believe that I am
conservative. She is a little dorky, introvert and not as outrageous and
outgoing as her sister Laila. They are completely opposite. Playing Lily is
more fun because I have played characters which have been very similar to Laila
in my previous Hindi movies. You will be surprised that I found it more
difficult to become Laila although I have played similar characters but because
Lily is closer to my real self, it was pretty easier to become her.

Considering you
had never done comedy and that too, a double role at that; what prompted you to
sign this film?

Well the producer Rangita (Nandy) and director Milap
(Zaveri) just took a chance and met with my husband Daniel who takes care of
all the business part. I don’t get into that zone. So they met him and narrated
the script and he couldn’t stop laughing. He found it very funny and called me
said that I must do this film. Daniel is a big fan of comedy. He said I must
hear the story as it’s very funny. The interesting part is that this type of
comedy is something we hadn’t seen before in Hindi movies. Generally, comedy
films in Bollywood are very clean and meant for family audience. In the US it’s
very common, but this was the first time, I was reading something so outrageous
and crazy. But that’s what makes it funny. So it wasn’t a hard decision to do
this film.

Like you said,
such movies are very common in the US but Hindi film audiences are not used to
adult comedies yet. Even filmmakers aren’t open to the idea of making such
movies. So were you taken aback?

Yes I was. This was the first time I had heard of this
type of comedy. When you come from the US or the UK or any other European
country, you think India has been more on the other side of this genre. But
based on statistics, whatever adult comedies have been made in the recent past,
they have worked, which means that the Indian audience too loves watching such
movies and they are open to watching many more movies of this genre. Just that
they haven’t been offered such stuff from the filmmakers. Maybe now it’s time
for the adults to have a good time and go out with their friends and laugh and
have fun watching humour that’s meant for adults.

But don’t you
think such movies are only limited for the adult audience? It affects the
footfall because unlike clean comedies, the entire family cannot go and watch
such movies together.

Maybe you are right but if you want to watch this film,
you wouldn’t go alone; you would go with a bunch of friends.
Grand Masti was the biggest example of how it can work. The box office numbers
show that it does work. Yes it was shocking for people because they hadn’t seen
an adult comedy making so much money and becoming a superhit. So I think it’s
nothing we need to be scared of. After all there are so many adults in India.
That’s the best part about movies. There is something for everyone. This film
has a lot for the adult audience. Also, on the same weekend, there is a U-rated
movie that the family and kids can watch together and once the kids are put to
bed, the adults can come and watch our movie. (Laughs)

After four years
and a few films, how comfortable are you with Hindi language?

Main Hindi bolti hoon aur kabhi kabhi nahi, roz bolti
hun. Agar aap mere saath
Hindi mein
baat karenge toh main bhi
Hindi mein
interview dungi
! Of course I have an accent which I will take time to get
rid of, but yes, I am very comfortable with the language now.

What do you
emphasize more on and how do you choose a film, on the basis of the script or
the director?

Well it depends. We have seen movies that came with a
great promise but didn’t do well at all because the director didn’t do justice
to the subject and there have been movies which we felt wouldn’t do well but
they did because the director made a good, entertaining film out of a weaker
subject. Sometimes, it works and sometimes, it doesn’t. You just cannot predict
what will work for the audience and what won’t. So for me, I have to love the
story before everything else because if I get bored reading it then I don’t
want to do it. Whether the audience will love the story or not or whether they
will love the performances or the way the story has been executed, nobody
knows!

With such
outrageous content of the film, how comfortable or uneasy was the atmosphere on
the sets. Did it get awkward any point of time to mouth those dialogues?

Everybody had so much fun shooting together. The nice
thing about a movie like this is that your level of open mindedness is so much
more than that on the sets of a serious film. You are talking about adult
material in the film and saying some of the most outrageous dialogues, so the
level of freedom to be able to talk what you want is much more. Even Rangita
and Milap had the best time on the sets because there is no censorship on the
sets. You don’t have to think about aisa
bol sakte hain aur aisa nahin bol sakte hain ya log kya kahenge
and all
that stuff. There aren’t any such restrictions because we all belong to the
same age group. It was a bunch of young, energetic people coming together on
the sets.

You think Indian
Censor Board is stricter as compared to other countries?

This is not just in India; it’s everywhere in the world.
Every country has its own censorship. They all have their own rules and
regulations. America has the same thing. You can’t put what you see in the
movie on a TV. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t put R-rated material on TV.
It’s just that India has one of the largest populations in the world and hence,
the voice is louder. That’s the biggest difference I guess. Also it depends on
what they think is right and what guidelines they have been given to follow. If
Indian Censor Board would have been stricter, you wouldn’t have seen what you
saw in the trailers and such films wouldn’t have been made in India.

After doing,
thrillers, murder mysteries, reincarnation and now a double role in an adult
comedy, which genre or kind of film would you love to do next?

Well everybody has been asking me when I will do a
serious film or an out-and-out romantic film which is story based. Well every
movie is story based by the way, even Mastizaade is! The next two films of mine
that would be releasing this year are more in the serious zone. They aren’t
comedy. There is One-Night-Stand which gives a feeling that it would be on the
lines of what you have seen of me in the past, but you will be surprised to
know that it’s not; and in a good way! Then there is Beimaan Love which is a
truly emotional love story. It’s so high on emotions that every time I read the
script, I cry. It’s a beautiful film. It’s one of my most favourite films and
very close to my heart and I hope the audience will like it too.

There have been
other foreign actresses too that have come into Bollywood but people feel you
are doing better than all of them as you have more and better movies in your
kitty. What do you feel?

Maybe they are more selective about the kinds of films
they want to be part of. I don’t know what their drive is and what their goals
are. I just know what my goals are. I don’t know about me doing better or not
doing better than them; I just know that this is where I want to be. I want to
work hard and make the right decisions. Have I been busy? Absolutely! I am busy
till 2017, so it feels great. I want to work hard and party harder and have
fun. I will work a thousand times harder because I want to work here for as
long as I can.

Any dream director
you wish to work with?

Yes, I don’t know when I will get to work with him, but I
would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for sure.

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