Karenjit Kaur Vohra was the name that was given to her but Sunny Leone was the name she chose to establish herself. Building her name as an A-list porn star, Sunny Leone, chose a career that was bound to be ridden with controversy, especially in a country like India.india Updated: Mar 15, 2013 18:19 IST
Sunny was born to a Sikh family in Ontario, Canada and she studied in a Catholic school since public schools were 'unsafe' for her. She later admitted that she had her first kiss at 11 and lost her virginity at 16. She allegedly discovered her bisexuality at 18. After graduation, Sunny worked in a few places and has even studied to become a pediatric nurse.
Porn Star Sunny
While training to be a nurse, Sunny posed for men's magazine Penthouse, which is known for its softcore porn pictorials and was named Penthouse Pet of the Month. Following that, Sunny featured in several such magazines like Hustler, Cheri, Swank, High Society among others.
Later, Sunny signed a three-year contract with renowned pornographic film production company Vivid Entertainment, on terms that she would only do lesbian hardcore porn.
She has since made a name for herself in lesbian films, even winning several awards for her porn films and endorsing sex-stimulating products. It was much later that she agreed to perform with men on camera, although for a very long time she remained exclusive to her then fiancé Matt Erikson. She later announced the launch of her own studio, Sunlust Pictures, with Daniel Weber (her current husband) as her partner in the company.
Sunny Leone made her Indian debut in the fifth season of Bigg Boss 5, creating a stir not only on the BB house but outside as well. While the cut-off contestants were unaware of Sunny's profession, the rest of the country was both shocked and eager to watch the season, giving the show a reasonable boost as well.
Although her stint in Bigg Boss was short, there was no doubt that her cameo in the show not only increased the show's viewership but even got Sunny a great deal of limelight, not to mention her first Bollywood offer. It was reported that Sunny has caused a stir in the larger populace with her Twitter feed gaining 8,000 new followers in just 2 days and Google saying searches for her experienced a "breakout".
There were also several complaints against the actress and the show for promoting pornography on national television.
While on the show Bigg Boss, Sunny Leone met Mahesh Bhatt, who made a guest appearance on the show around the same time. It was there that he offered a role to Sunny in his next production Jism 2, which was to be directed by his daughter Pooja Bhatt.
Following much buzz about steamy scenes and racy content, the erotic thriller Jism 2 was released on August 3 and got a good opening. However, the film's performance at the box office kept declining steadily and even received a lukewarm response from viewers and critics alike.
She is now set to feature in the sequel to Ekta Kapoor's horror flick Ragini MMS, for which she is all praise for the Balaji group and is even attending several workshops.
1. Bigg Boss 5 - Indian reality show about celebrities kept captive in a house under surveillance
2. Jism 2 - Bollywood film about a porn star wanting to atone for her sins
3. Ragini MMS - Sequel to the Bollywood horror-thriller inspired from Paranormal Activity
4. The Girl Next Door - Cameo
5. My Bare Lady 2: Open for Business - A show in which a group of adult actresses were given classes and training on how to pitch investment ideas and competed for success in the business world
6. Debbie Does Dallas - Cameo
7. Pirates Blood - An action adventure film shot in Oman
8. Middle Men - An indie feature about the birth of the online porn industry set for wide theatrical release in 2009.
9. The Virginity Hit - A film in which she plays a version of herself, where she is hired to take the virginity of the lead character
1. 2008 XBIZ Award - Web Babe of the Year
2. 2010 AVN Award - Best All-Girl Group Sex Scene
3. 2010 AVN Award - Web Starlet of the Year
4. 2010 F.A.M.E. Award - Favorite Breasts
5. 2012 XBIZ Award - Porn Star Site of the Year
Sunny Leone is currently married to porn star Daniel Weber, who is also her manager. Although bisexual, she has stated that she prefers men. In an interview to IANS, Sunny Leone's husband said that he was proud of her entry into Bollywood. Sunny and lost her parent over the last four years and has a younger brother.
On family's reaction
On her adult profession
I am who I am. And no one twisted my arm to be in this business. I am here of my own accord.
My family didn't find out until I told them, which was when I won Penthouse Pet of the Year. They took it as well as I could have hoped. I am their daughter and they love me, so it was great when they didn't disown me.
Daniel is my best friend. I met him right when my mother died. So, he never got to meet her. And most people when you meet now-a-days would not stick around if one is going through such a traumatic phase. But he was very understanding and loving. I would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be there to console...saying that he is there and everything will be fine. He is like my angel. He is my angel!
On Bollywood debut
I didn't see myself as a star. I just saw myself as a new kid on the block who is trying to figure out what this whole world is about. I mean I've been in entertainment for a long time, I understand. For that particular movie, it was like diving in the deep end.
On protests against her
To be totally honest with you, just these three incidents out of the 1 billion people living in India, there was only these three small protests. I am actually quite happy. I am happy that it was just these small pockets of people protesting.
On starting a family
As far as children go, I think we will wait a little bit and see what happens. But I do have a very western thinking of you know, you can still work and have kids as far as entertainment industry goes. I don't know how it works in India but here in America, having babies is a part of your natural life. You can continue to work, you can continue to be an entertainer.
I haven't…I haven't done anything since I wanted to be in Bollywood. I have been so busy and I have been in India every single month. I think right now I am in a position which is like a crossroad. You have chosen one direction. There are moments which change your life. And I think this is that moment.
I never kissed a stranger until Jism 2. I know there is a crazy perception of who I am. But Jism 2 was the first film where I ever made out with a man I didn't know ever!
Born on: May 13, 1981
First Film: Sunny
Spouse: Daniel Weber
First Published: Jul 23, 2012 17:40 IST