'Every day after shooting, I would be in tears'
... says Sunny Leone, who evinces excitement about the second season of her biopic web-series Karenjit Kaur - The Untold Story of Sunny Leone
Biopics are all the fad in the Indian film industry at the moment, but it's not every day that a person gets to play themselves. Sunny Leone, in town to promote the second season of her web-series Karenjit Kaur - The Untold Story of Sunny Leone, is happy about the reception to the first season. "I'm glad about the heart-warming reception, especially from the South. That's why we've made the second season bigger in every way possible."
Excerpts from the conversation:
The first season was about your childhood. What can we expect from season two?
In the first season, everybody learns about the characters and gets why I made certain decisions. In the second season, you'll really live an emotional journey with all of us. I haven't seen it yet but I hear that it has turned out really well.
Will this season focus more on your love life?
Yeah, it's a lot more emotional than the first season. A lot of important parts of my life were shot for this season, and it wasn't easy shooting for them. I gave my heart and soul to this project; so I hope people enjoy it.
Was there a reason why the series wasn't made as a feature film?
There was actually a plan to make it into a film. I even read the feature film script version for it. There's so much content though; we wouldn't be doing justice to the story if done as a feature film. The film script was nowhere close to being as good as the series'.
Your life story was previously made into a documentary titled Mostly Sunny, but you were quite unhappy about it.
There were certain issues with it. I made my distaste known, as it was actually different than what it was first promised to be. All I've said in it is true but it was led in a completely different direction. I didn't really want to go through that again and that's why I sought creative liberty over this web-series.
We heard that the biopic wasn't your idea.
Yes. I couldn't take credit for that (laughs). It was the production house who approached my husband (musician Daniel Weber). They, together, broke the news to me and my immediate reaction was to say no. I was apprehensive about what they'd show. I didn't want to put myself in an uncomfortable position. What if they shot it shadily? But then they told me about the route the story would take and it was exactly the way I'd want it to go. That's when I accepted it.
So, is this as real as it gets?
Absolutely. The costumes and settings might be different, but the story is for real. Even some of the dialogues we've used in the series are exactly the ones I've heard my father use. The one that's in the trailer is also the one we use so many times in the series, and it kills me everytime I hear it. It's my father's character saying, 'Putthar tenu duniya ki bulaandivey, menu kaddho farak nahi pendha, mera vaasthey tu toh meri Gogu hi hai' (Kid, whatever name the world calls you by, It doesn't really bother me. For me, you will always be my Gogu).
Did your trips down memory lane make it a challenge to film?
Oh yes. Every day, after shooting, I'd end up crying and my team would hug me to make me feel better. Tissues would already be in their hands as they walked towards me. And then there's my husband as well who've always supported me. At the end of the day, I'm still someone's daughter. Of course, I miss my parents and seeing them die again was painful to watch even though I know it's just a film. Reliving those experiences wasn't easy.
How many more seasons can we expect from this series?
I guess it depends on how season two goes. For now, we haven't planned for another season, but if people enjoy this, there might be another season and that would cover the events of my life after I landed in India.
You've got a Tamil film coming up as well.
We'll see where that goes. Apart from the web series, I'm starting my own production house by the end of this year. Our own film will be shot from the start of next year and I'll be starring in it as well. We're really excited because we've been working on the story for a long time. There are so many things happening at the same time, and I'm looking forward to all of them.