Ahead of Kennedy’s première at Cannes, Sunny on fighting people’s judgment of her acting chops and emerging triumphant with an Anurag film
Sunny Leone at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival
Kennedy has reached the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, as has Sunny Leone. Her movie, helmed by Anurag Kashyap, premièring at the prestigious gala is perhaps the perfect example of how far the actor’s tenacity has brought her. “I’ve always believed that if you don’t give up, work hard, and stand by your own morals, you will be happy with your choices,” she says, looking back on her journey.
In 2011, Leone left her profession as an adult star in the US and stepped into Indian showbiz with Bigg Boss 5, following it up with Hindi films. Was it exhausting to forge her path in an industry where people may have harboured judgment about her? “If it wasn’t for my fans, I wouldn’t have been here. Disappointment and feelings of rejection give us the option of either being negative, or figuring out our own path. This is one of the proudest moments of my career.”
Anurag Kashyap and Sunny Leone
Last July, Kashyap and Leone announced their collaboration. That was enough to spark chatter about whether she will fit in the vision of the director, known to choose actors over stars. Leone admits that questions around her acting capabilities have always followed her. “It gets to me at the back of my mind. I’ve tried not to show that people’s comments hurt me. [I’ve been asked] questions like, ‘When will you do a serious role?’ or ‘How does it feel to be in a serious role now?’ It’s not a great feeling. I’ve always taken myself seriously. Unfortunately, some people don’t see you as a human. Kennedy and Anurag Kashyap are the perfect examples of pushing all that negativity aside, and something amazing coming true.”
The Rahul Bhat-led neo-noir thriller, which premières today, sees Leone play Charlie. To her, Kashyap’s set has been nothing less than a school, where she learnt much about cinema and craft. “I was nervous at my audition, and on the first day of shooting. I’m happy they accepted my version of Charlie. To get advice and lessons from someone who is considered knowledgeable not only in the Indian film industry, but all over the world, is incredible. I hope I can work with Anurag sir again.”