“My strength to keep pushing forward comes from numbers and all I want to do is just work more and more to beat these numbers,” said a jubilant Sunny Leone in a Bollywood Hungama exclusive interview with Faridoon Shahryar after emerging as the number one Google searched Indian celebrity for the year 2014 beating Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Bollywood’s Blockbuster Khan Salman Khan. “One day maybe my dream of working with Salman will come true and until then I will always be watching his movies,” Sunny said wistfully. As honest and upfront as always, Leone is comfortable with her past and promises to work extremely hard to win the hearts of her fans in the year 2015. She also shares her thoughts on the humungous response to her column, My journey from being an Adult star to the beautiful Bollywood that totaled nearly 2 million page views and 65,000 likes on Bollywood Hungama. “Regardless of my past and because of my past I am who I am today,” she says.
You had famously said in your column on Bollywood Hungama, “They may like me or hate me, but they are still googling me”. Now with you topping the Google 2014 search in India, how do you look at your statement?
I had no idea what I said would actually be this huge. People might look at me badly, don’t want to work with me, or think I’m here just for the moment… my answer to that is I am here as long as my fans keep me here and according to the numbers, the people of India are interested in who I am and I am so very proud of that. I worked very very hard through the year and this, as I’ve said before, is my reward from the people for that hard work. Regardless of my past and because of my past I am who I am today.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is number 2 while Salman Khan is number 3 on the most searched list on Google in 2014. You are number one on that list. What do you have to say about Mr Modi and Salman?
To Mr Modi, I wish him luck in bringing the country forward. I have high hopes from him to make it easy for NRI’s like myself and my husband to do business in this great country.
To the dashing Salman you are one of the reasons I am here today. On my last day of Bigg Boss 5 you wished me luck in Bollywood and because of your good wishes from the start it has given me strength to move forward. One day maybe my dream of working with you will come true and until then I will always be watching your movies. God Bless!
Your column ‘My journey from the adult entertainment to the beautiful Bollywood’ on Bollywood Hungama has totaled over 2 million page views and over 65000 likes. It’s a testimony to your immense popularity on Internet. What are your thoughts on the glorious response to your column?
I am happy that people are interested in me and my work. My strength to keep pushing forward comes from numbers and all I want to do is just work more and more to beat these numbers. I won’t stop till I drop. (Smiles)
How will you sum up the year 2014 for yourself?
Complete Insanity!! I learned a lot from the failure of my movie Jackpot to the uber success of Ragini MMS 2 and ‘Babydoll’. Miss Ekta Kapoor gave me a chance to succeed with the movie and the hit song ‘Babydoll’ and for that I am ever grateful. My husband Daniel Weber worked his butt off to make sure I had the chance to be “Sunny Leone” and yet kept me whole through the insanity or schedules and people we encountered. Lots of ups and not a lot of downs! It was an unbelievable year and I hope and wish it only goes up from here.
What, according to you, has been your most significant achievement of 2014?
I think the most significant thing to happen this year was gaining fans I never thought I would have, young children. The amount of kids who came to me this year because of one song was incredible. My favourite moments were, in Nepal when a little girl in school uniform followed me around and when I said hello she started singing ‘Babydoll’ to me. Also will never forget when I visited St Catherine’s ashram for girls this year they started dancing and singing to ‘Babydoll’. I can’t fully describe the feeling but I was given a gift by them of love.
You’ve got some important films lined up for release in 2015. How excited are you for the New Year?
This year was a working year for me, and I believe next year will be the year of judgment by critics, viewers and the Bollywood fraternity. Because some of these movies will be released and that’s when I will really begin to understand my position in this industry. I am excited and I am very scared and nervous.
You are an extremely attractive woman but personally I find your simplicity and honesty the most attractive aspect of your personality. Is this simplicity and easy going nature responsible for your popularity within the film industry as a professional?
I 100% believe in professionalism. I believe in being a good person. My parents were very humble people and I have come from the ground and moved my way up in life. It wasn’t all luck, it was sweat, tears, and blood. I understand what it’s like to be a producer and how much it costs per minute to keep things moving. So I try to be as professional as I can. Of course things go wrong on set and I am still learning how to handle situations here but the basics of who I am will never change. I will always stand for what’s right.