Aditya Datt made his directorial debut with Aashiq Banaya Aapne in 2005. The grandson of lyricist Anand Bakshi, Aditya is back in news again. The 34-year-old has helmed the web series Karenjit Kaur- The Untold Story of Sunny Leone. The biopic chronicles the life of Sunny Leone from being the girl-next-door to an adult star and then a bonafide Bollywood actor. It has definitely been one of the most anticipated web series of 2018. Indianexpress.com recently caught up with Aditya to talk about his experience filming the biopic.
“It was really nice. Here, I would like to thank Zee5 for allowing me to narrate the story my way. And plus, giving us freedom of choosing the language. I have tried to push the envelope with this show. Getting a chance to experiment was the most fun part,” he shared.
The conversation soon steered towards the recently released biopic Sanju. The film has been criticised for painting a rosy picture of Sanjay Dutt’s life. Aditya backed director Rajkumar Hirani and said, “The audience needs to understand that the director has his own way of narrating a story. It’s all about how he looks at that person’s life. He is at the freedom to tell it the way he feels it should be presented. I don’t think it’s wrong in any way.”
He further added, “We were clear from the start that at no point we would try to whitewash Sunny Leone’s image. I feel Sunny is a woman who made some choices, stood by it and is not apologetic about it. And quite justifiably, she is only answerable to herself and her family. We did have a lot of debates and discussions to choose the parts we wanted to be included in the biopic. Thankfully, it’s on the web, so we were not restricted by time and censorship. We have tried to put across only the real facts and circumstances from her life.”
Aditya confessed that some incidents in the web series on Sunny Leone’s life have been dramatized. “We need to understand it’s not a docu-drama. You can’t take that away from us. For a cinematic approach, we need to play around. But trust me, the facts are all real,” said the filmmaker.
The casting of Karenjit Kaur has been much appreciated. Be it Sunny’s parents played by Bijay Anand and Grusha Kapoor to her younger self Rysa Saujani, the makers have tried to keep it close to the real people. Giving an insight into the casting, the Table No. 21 director said, “We had photograph references and we spoke a lot to Sunny and her brother. With her parents being no more, we had to judge their personalities and thoughts ourselves. Thankfully, we had an amazing cast who has done a fabulous job. I think the toughest part was Sunny playing herself. I had to tell her that when she is on set, she needs to detach herself from her life. It was important that she played the role as an actor. For this, she had to see herself and her life from a bird’s eye view. And trust me, it was really difficult.”
We asked Aditya if at any point while filming the series, he wished it could have been made into a movie. To this, the young man said, “Honestly, if someone had told me to do it as a film, I would have said no. I don’t think it would have been the right medium for Sunny’s story. The kind of approach we had and with all the censorship restrictions, our hands would have been tied (laughs). But I must also add that there’s not much of skin show and we aren’t trying to portray her career in the porn industry. This series is about how Karenjit Kaur became Sunny Leone. We are only focusing on the humane side of her tale.”
Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone is currently streaming on Zee5.