Moving from the secret folders of computers, to being openly discussed about in public; from being a discreet yet famous porn star, to one of the most hyped Bollywood debut of the year - it has been quite a journey for Sunny Leone. “The journey has been everything and more. Each day on set is different because you are never shooting the same thing twice. Each scene requires different emotions and at the end of the day, I eat my dinner and fall asleep. I feel bad for not socialising as much as I want to but Pooja Bhatt has taught me ‘Be selfish for your shot’ and that sometimes means not hanging out and going to bed early. I believe in my gut and heart that this movie will be a success. For me, it already is and I look forward to seeing the finished project. Everyone on the set has worked really hard,” Sunny says, talking about her experience shooting for her first Hindi film, ‘Jism 2’.
Her director and the producer of the film, Pooja Bhatt is known to be a tough taskmaster but Sunny is all admiration for the actor-turned-director. “She pays attention to every detail and I have really come to understand why she says what she does. It all makes sense. I have never been in front of a camera at a single stretch as much as I have in this movie. She has taught me a lot about who I am and what I want to achieve. I feel like I have grown up really fast on this set and she has definitely shown me the ropes in the right direction,” she claims.
She is equally generous in her praise for her co-stars Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh. Says Sunny, “Randeep is always very serious so it’s hard to get to know him but he’s very good in the role he has been given and very experienced in these dark roles. Arunoday brings a lot to the table and he and I always work as a team to get the shot right and at the same time have fun.”
So, was it uncomfortable shooting particularly steamy scenes? She laughs and all she will say is, “Every shot was planned out and had to be done in a certain way and if it did not go as planned it had to be shot again.”
Sunny has no formal acting training. We wonder if a ‘bold’ reputation will be enough to deal with the competition in Bollywood. “‘Jism 2’ isn’t just about that. Mahesh Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt are so good at what they do. They explain everything to you and make you feel exactly what you should for the shot,” she says adding as an afterthought, “You know, to be honest, I don’t really think of competition. I have always believed that there is enough work for everyone. I am new on the block and would never compare myself to any veteran in Bollywood. They worked hard to get where they are and I am working hard to get to where I want to be.”
Does she worry about being stereotyped? She quips, “I can’t predict the future and if it’s not meant to be then I am not going to worry about it.”
Her filming has interfered with her normal exercise routine but she claims she tries to do what she can to keep in shape. “Before I started working on this movie I would workout every day and try to gear my body up, maintaining a certain look I wanted. I was eating fairly healthy but I was in the gym all the time. Now, I try to do little exercises when I can so I don’t lose all the muscle I had built. It’s very hard to eat well and workout on set but if I do little things for 10-20 minutes a day, I feel like it’s helping me maintain my figure. Crunches, leg raises, push-ups and step-ups really make all the difference in the world,” she says.
For now, shooting on ‘Jism 2’ has been wrapped up in Sri Lanka and Sunny has headed home to return to Mumbai when the film’s release date nears and promotions kick off.