Circa 2003. Shah Rukh Khan’s heart-tugging performance in Karan Johar’s Kal Ho Naa Ho was moving audience not just in India but even in the West (where the film was set up) and one of them happened to be a young Sunny Leone who admits to having cried like many others after watching King Khan die in Kal Ho Naa Ho. “One of the first films that I watched while with my mother was Kal Ho Naa Ho. I knew what was coming, what the dialogues were but still my mother and I would sit and cry,” said Sunny Leone in an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com.
Little did Sunny realise then that her career would take a fast forward turn from the adult industry to Bollywood and she certainly had no inkling that 13 years later, she would be having her own special moment with the Badshah of Bollywood, serenading him while dancing to the iconic tunes of Laila Main Laila.
Watch: Sunny Leone says she had to adjust in Bollywood
“I was in disbelief when the call first came from SRK’s team. There were a few things that happened in that same time which were not so nice. My movie didn’t do well, there was this horrible interview that happened. All those things happened in a row. And then, all of a sudden you get this call.They called my husband Daniel first and he came and told me that SRK wants you to be in one of his movies. I was in disbelief up until the rehearsals. But I am happy. It comes down to myself, Daniel and my team. We have worked so hard. Good things and not so good things have happened this year. And then the song from Raees happened and it makes me feel if I can do this, anybody who wants to follow their dreams, it is possible for them too. A song with SRK is a proud moment.”
Read| Raees’ Laila Main Laila: Sunny Leone, Shah Rukh Khan set screen on fire, watch video
While Sunny may be living her dream for the moment, not too long ago, she was being criticised from various quarters and most of the criticism originated owing to her past association with the adult industry. Sunny weathered the storm with a brave face and decided to let her actions to speak louder than words and aptly considers her moment with SRK in Raees as an answer to all her detractors.
“My moment was about seeing me and SRK together in the same frame for the first. After the shot, I said thank you. It was such an amazing moment. For all those people who would say crazy and bad things and want to bring you down that was the moment when I was like you guys will see this and eat your words. I believe in working hard. I believe in karma. God took my parents away and immediately after that all these things happened. When my mother passed away, Daniel happened in my life. If you work hard and be persistent, good things will happen. It can’t all be wrong.”
Sunny also considers it a huge honour to have been a part of a song that was made immortal by Zeenat Aman. “My name and Zeenatji’s name in the same frame…what more can I ask for? I don’t care even if people say that Sunny looks like s**t in the song.”
For the moment, Sunny is happy with just a song-based appearance in Raees and wouldn’t mind even if it ended all today. Though she is eager to do a full-fledged film opposite the superstar Khans, the actress feels things will happen at the right time. And if there is one thing that she will always stand by, it is her own self-created brand Sunny Leone.
“Everybody has their own journey and everybody has their own steps to take. I created a personality. I created a brand Sunny Leone and will always stick by it. All the decisions made or taken happened for a reason. Everything is a stepping stone to something bigger and better,” said Sunny before signing off.