If you’ve been online today, you would have noticed that many people are talking about this Sunny Leone interview with CNN IBN’s Bhupendra Chaubey that’s going viral – for all the wrong reasons. It is honestly one of the most cringe-worthy interviews I’ve seen, mostly because the interviewer seemed hell-bent on getting one kind of answer: it seems like, in his head, this was the big opportunity to get Sunny to admit her career as a pornstar was a mistake. Of course, that didn’t happen – the actress is proud of who she is, and rightly so – and by the end of it, Sunny came out looking graceful, polite and poised.
Interviewer: Kapil Sharma had, at one point, not felt comfortable shooting with you because he thought he had family audiences and Sunny Leone really didn’t fit into the description of family audience. Is this true?
Sunny: I have no idea, because I’ve been on his show multiple times. I’m happy that I got a chance to be a part of his show. I’m sure if he had an issue that –
Interviewer: *interrupts* That he would have raised it with you, perhaps.
Sunny: – that I wouldn’t have been on his show multiple times.
Interviewer: The director of Ek Paheli Leela said that he went to a lot of big stars to perform with you and they didn’t want to. Did that make you feel bad? While the commercial value of your work certainly seems to be doing quite well, but there is a lot of resistance and inhibitions about you. How do you deal with that?
Sunny: Sure. I actually don’t care about anybody else’s inhibtions or what they’re insecure with, if they want to work with me or not. It actually doesn’t affect me at all. I work every single day and I’m very happy for that.
She has no f*cks to give. We love it.
Interviewer: You think an Aamir Khan would ever work with you?
Sunny: Probably not.
Sunny: Because of my background –
Interviewer: Would you want to work with Aamir Khan?
Sunny: Of course, who wouldn’t?
Interviewer: So you would want to work with Aamir, but Aamir would never want to work with you –
Sunny: I don’t know, you’d have to ask him that!
Interviewer: How would this reflect on you, then?
Sunny: It doesn’t affect me. I’d still be an Aamir fan. I’m still going to watch all his movies.
What’s with the assumption that Aamir would never work with her?
Interviewer: Do you not sometimes get affected by the fact that your past – your past that you were this porn queen – will continue to haunt you?
Sunny: But I –
Interviewer: Or maybe continue to pull you back?
Sunny: But –
Interviewer: Or maybe you could’ve gone far higher?
Sunny: But maybe you’re the only person that… It’s the press and the media that says ‘hold back’ or ‘haunt’. I’ve never said haunt, I’ve never said held back. I’m not held back.
Interviewer: Is your past now literally, figuratively, in every way – a thing of the past now? Is that something you think about? Let me put it this way, if I was to turn the clock back – would you still do what you did?
Sunny: One hundred percent:
Interviewer: One hundred percent. So you would still do the kind of shoots, the kind of work before you came into Bollywood?
Sunny: Everything I’ve done in my life has led me into this seat. It’s a chain reaction that happens. Everything has been a stepping stone to something bigger or better. Or you want it to be bigger or better. That’s what life is about – you make decisions that lead you to who you are as an adult. I don’t have any horror stories – I wasn’t abused, I wasn’t beaten, I wasn’t molested –
Interviewer: I sometimes wonder, and pardon me if I’m in anyways being offensive here, but how many people would think in terms of growing up to be a porn star?
Sunny: No one.
Interviewer: And you became.
Sunny: It wasn’t something I aspired to do –
Interviewer: So I want to know from you, how did that happen?
Sunny: It just kinda happened. I met an agent and when I saw these photos of these women, I didn’t think this is vulgar. I didn’t think that, oh this is wrong. I thought of it as being beautiful, and I thought they’re sexy, they’re beautiful, they’re free, they’re doing whatever they want to do. And that’s how I saw it.
Interviewer: There are many housewives [on social media] for instance, there are many Indian – not just housewives, many Indian married women who look at Sunny Leone as a threat towards their husbands. And they believe their husbands are all gonna be taken away by Sunny Leone.
Sunny: Sorry, I don’t want your husband at all. I have my own. I love him, he’s hot, he’s sexy, he’s very smart, he’s very talented. Sorry ladies, I don’t want your husband.
Interviewer: People believe that you’re actually not an actor, that you’re still not an actor. Some are accusing you of literally lowering the level of the fine art of cinema. You believe that? Is that a just criticism?
Sunny: Uh… again, the thing is that whatever somebody’s opinion is about me, I actually don’t care. Because I’m working everyday. I have three movie releases this year—
Interviewer: So what is this about Sunny? Is this just about money?
Sunny: This is not just about money –
Interviewer: Ultimately, this is about money.
Sunny: This is about something I’ve always wanted to do. and when you work, just like you’re paid to sit to talk to me, I am paid to sit to talk to you. And that’s just how it works. At the end of the day, it is business. We all work because we want to feed our families. But when you’re in the art of cinema, there has to be a passion there and that passion’s always been there.
Interviewer: Do you look at yourself as an artist?
Sunny: I look at myself as an entertainer.
Interviewer: You’re an entertainer. You know in typical Bollywood terms, you’re an item girl. Are you an item girl?
Sunny: I don’t see myself as anybody, just a girl who wants to work.
Interviewer: Do you believe that you have a body and you believe that it’s your body that will ultimately take you everywhere?
Sunny: But it’s everybody’s face and body that takes you everywhere when you work in entertainment. Every single actor or actress… their skill level, the determination, or whatever their training in life separates them from one actor to the next. But it is the beautiful face that we see on television that we’re attracted to watch that we want to turn the channel to their show or their program or their movie.
SO. MUCH. RAGE.
This entire thing has annoyed me. It’s just the attacking nature of the interview, the hidden agenda to get her to say things, and the superior manner is which the questions were asked. It was completely uncalled for, although Sunny clearly held herself well. Kudos!