She may have made a splash in Bollywood since the time she set foot here, but Sunny Leone exudes the enthusiasm of a fresher and fan girl when she talks about her films and working with Shah Rukh Khan respectively. Ahead of the release of her film One Night Stand, the actress talks about putting her best foot forward this year and hopefully bringing out a film that competes directly with Hollywood.
This year started on a good note for you…you shot a song with SRK in Raees.
It was absolutely amazing to be able to shoot that. It came out of nowhere! My husband and I were in the car when he got the phone call and he couldn’t stop saying, ‘Oh my god’. When he got off the phone, I asked him if they got the right number.
Come on… who else would they be trying to reach?
(Smiles) I know, but it’s difficult to believe that something like this is actually going to happen. I didn’t believe it till the time I was in the middle of rehearsals for the song. I thought to myself, ‘they can’t change their mind now because they have taught me all the moves!’ You can only wish and pray for moments like these — I would’ve said ‘yes’ to it even if I were going to be just passing in the background.
Really? Would you?
Of course I would!
How was it to shake a leg with SRK?
It isn’t a full on dance number, he has his parts in the song. I remember seeing myself with him on the same screen, in the same frame. I didn’t make it apparent to everyone, but it was a very emotional moment for me. I went to him after that and thanked him for our ‘first shot together’ The whole experience was surreal. He made my entire team and me very comfortable. I am dying to see the final song.
Do you think you have finally arrived?
It’s an amazing step in the right direction. I believe in hard work and perseverance when it comes to working in the entertainment industry. Nothing happens overnight.
Last year, the day one collections of Ek Paheli Leela were higher than NH 10 and Piku. You clearly have a large audience waiting to see you at the movies, so do you think it’s time to identify scripts that will display your glamorous side as well as bring out the best performance in you?
I was really happy with Ek Paheli Leela’s numbers, but I don’t sit there and think about comparing myself to this movie or that movie. I only compare myself to me and the numbers I have created before. When I first saw the numbers for the film, I actually wished they were better than that (laughs). It’s ‘do or die’ on a Friday and I’m happy that my fans have been supportive and hope they continue to support me in my next film — One Night Stand.
What kind of films would you want to do this year?
I hope this year people see a different side to me, because I have tried really hard to be a better actress — I’ve tried to emote better, tried to work hard at acting workshops before shooting, tried to be a better listener to my directors and understand how they want me to do things. I hope people start seeing it this year. That’s my goal.
Do you think the music of your films has contributed in a big way to your success? Baby Doll for instance became the campaign song of the film…
I know, and that is why everyone tries to recreate Baby Doll. You can’t recreate a moment in time that was meant for that moment alone — there is not going to be another Baby Doll, but there will be songs from my other films. If people keep on comparing their work to Baby Doll, they will miss the boat of being creative in their own way. Think of something else and out of the box because content is always the king. The youth and the urban market are so in tune with the rest of the world that if we don’t keep up with that, we’ll see our numbers fall. Then Hollywood films will do better than our Indian films and we’ll be ruing the death of Indian films and talk about how we shouldn’t have let it happen. If you have to compete with Hollywood cinema then you got to make sure you have an A grade product.
You are planning to start your own production house, would it be equipped to bring out an A grade product?
I do want to start a film but I won’t unless I am 100 per cent sure and there are no holes in the story. We are in the pre-production stage now, so if it works out this year then great or else we will do it next year. I am in no hurry because I want to get it right. I had this conversation with Daniel and he told me about sitting with the writer and telling him what I want. We debate all the time. I would never want to block someone’s creative process. Why should I tell a writer what I want or what I don’t want? Let them create something and present it to me and we can then move forward.