Before Sunny Leone can step under the archlights,her make-up artiste intervenes. Fussed over for a few minutes,she checks herself in the mirror,flashes a rehearsed smile and nods indicating to her entourage that she is ready to promote her Bollywood debut,Jism 2,which releases this Friday.
A large banquet hall in a five-star hotel in Mumbai serves both as the waiting area and an interview room. It is choc-a-bloc with journalists and cameramen,who have waited for two hours to meet Leone. The actress flits across the room greeting everyone and posing for pictures,her smile and confidence never faltering for a moment despite a volley of uncomfortable questions. Such questions are professional hazard; Im used to it, confesses Leone,a star in the US adult film industry.
It is this approach treating acting in adult films as work that aided Leone,a Canada-born Indian,get career clarity 11 years ago. She was introduced to the profession by a friend at the age of 20. I always had a talent for business. So,when I was introduced to the business of adult entertainment,I saw the opportunity it offered. Is this all I have to do to make so much money? is what I thought, recounts the 31-year-old,who now lives in Los Angeles,US.
Leone owns Sun Lust Pictures,an adult entertainment film company that co-produces all films she works in. If I am taking my clothes off,I might as well own it, she explains. In addition,she endorses several products and is considered among the top adult entertainers in the West.
With arms folded,her husband Daniel Weber stands in the shadows,keenly observing everything and ensuring his wife is comfortable and safe. I am very protective of Sunny, he says. A guitarist with LA-based rock band The Disparrows,Weber became a part of the adult entertainment industry after he began to date Leone. Their old-school love story,the couple admits,is not what most people expect. I wooed her for a whole month,sending flowers to whichever part of the world she was in,before she agreed to a date, says Weber with a laugh. But his conservative Jewish family took a while to come around and the couple got married in 2011. Earlier,my mom would complain that she cannot tell her friends what her daughter-in-law does for a living. Jism 2 changed that, admits the self-confessed mammas boy who takes care of Leones business.
In fact,Leones conservative Sikh parents,who knew their daughter as Karen Malhotra,did not approve of her transition to Sunny Leone initially,but as Leone puts it,their love for me made them come around to it and they eventually understood what I wanted. She asserts that she is considerably conservative,limiting herself mostly to homosexual and solo acts. She only co-stars in adult films with men whom she is in a relationship with.
Sex is never physical alone; emotions are part of it too. So,doing it with someone I love makes me comfortable, she says,glancing towards her husband. While Leone is aware of the insensitive response from a section of audience about her Bollywood debut,she tries to remain unfazed. There is nothing in the movie that Indian films do not already show. Jism 2 is not a porn film and I am covered up where I should be, points out the actress,who will soon start shooting for the sequel of Ragini MMS and is also being wooed with a slew of offers. The couple also want to co-produce a Bollywood film soon.
Though retirement from the adult entertainment industry is not part of their plan yet,Mr and Mrs Sunny Leone hope to start a family soon. But I am so scared that the porn curse where the children of members of the porn industry end up becoming part of the business too will be upon us, Weber says.