Who are you interviewing tomorrow, my mum asked me. To put this in context, I’d given up doing celebrity interviews years ago. My mum knew this, ergo the question. She’s someone I find really interesting, I replied. Sunny Leone.
I like her, my mum replied. She has dignity. Coming from my mum, who is almost 80, an ex-school marm, these are strong words. My mum is an avid Bigg Boss watcher, and that was the beginning of her acquaintance with Sunny Leone. She reads the newspapers, and the celebrity columns with great interest. “You will only see her in the papers with regards to her work or her kids,” mum added.
She was right, I realised. For all we know of Sunny Leone, thanks to her rather unconventional career path, there’s a lot that is intensely private about her. She has a strong, unwavering sense of self, something that endeared her to me when I watched her take on a chauvinistic anchor unflinchingly, sitting through an intense uncomfortable interview with equanimity and poise. She has never whitewashed her stint as an adult film actress, though that phase is in the past for her now. She’s taken complete ownership of her career decisions, and the path she’s taken. We don’t see her getting clicked at airports, outside salons, enroute to parties. We do see her with her husband and kids on Instagram. And in those she could be every woman, with the same concerns around mothering and motherhood that we all struggle with.
For all we know of Sunny Leone, thanks to her rather unconventional career path, there’s a lot that is intensely private about her.
When I met her, I realised that Sunny Leone is a strong woman in the absolute sense of the term. She is also one with no airs, none of the fuss and attitude that one expects from celebrities in the glamour world. She knows her mind and doesn’t hesitate to speak it loud, whether on parenting, market value as an actress and how it gets impacted by motherhood, on how revisiting her life and its painful moments during the shooting of Karenjit Kaur, the series on Zee 5 affected her, body shaming, trolls and more. It was a conversation that was candid, real and straight from the heart.
And the best thing of all, she wears her Feminism on her t-shirt.
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