Sydney fans of Canadian-born Indian celebrity Sunny Leone got a unique opportunity to get up close to the star on Sunday night
An exclusive VIP ‘Meet & Greet’ night was hosted by Maharaja’s Haveli’s in Sydney, which has become an institution in the city for delivering mouth-watering Indian cuisine.
Sunny Leone is currently on a whirlwind tour of Australia, and made appearances in Melbourne and Sydney on Friday and Saturday promoting the songs that feature her as an item-number in Bollywood. These included the hit single ‘Baby Doll’ from the movie Ragini MMS, which has clocked almost 39 million views on Youtube, as well as others such as ‘Char bottle Vodka’ and ‘Pink Lips.’
The exclusive ‘Meet & Greet’ evening was hosted by MCs Nitin Madan (Sur Sangam radio) and Reena Koak, and the night featured several Bollywood dances, a Q&A with Sunny as well as a four-course dinner. DJ Rink, India’s leading female DJ, was also present on the night.
Sunny Leone wore an exquisite black dress and was accompanied by her husband and personal manager Daniel Weber. She seemed completely at ease with being the cynosure of the audience and her presence in the room created a buzz.
At just 33 years of age, Sunny Leone’s story is still being scripted and she is very intent on shaping it. Many may know her as an adult entertainer of some repute, but Sunny Leone says that her biggest goal now is ‘being taken seriously,’ as she focuses on another chapter on her life. She says that it is a question that frequently confronts her when she turns up on sets or does shoots. And she wants to change that perception fast.
Since her entry in the Big Boss house in 2011 in India, Sunny Leone’s profile in the country has grown exponentially. In 2012, she was signed on to play a role in Pooja Bhatt’s sensual thriller Jism 2 and has since played numerous cameos in other movies.
“I want to be in movies, act in movies and am prepared to work really hard. I know I can work harder than the other girls out there and do whatever it takes” — Sunny Leone
She touched briefly on her younger days saying she ‘grew up in a typical Punjabi household,’ and that whilst she may have an accent, she can understand and speak both Hindi and Punjabi well. She was born as Karenjit Kaur Vohra before adopting the ‘Sunny Leone’ screen name in the early part of her professional career. “I have received a lot of love and support in India,” she said in Hindi further endearing herself to the Sunday night audience.
And she seems to be genuinely committed to making it work in Bollywood. “I want to be in movies, act in movies and am prepared to work really hard. I know I can work harder than the other girls out there and do whatever it takes.” She sounded almost philosophical when she said that everything in her life has been a “stepping stone” and a journey to bigger and greater things.
In recent months she has been working on a number of movies including Mastizaade, a light-hearted comedy. She seemed particularly proud of her involvement with the production of Leela, a film set to release in 2015, where Leone has secured a lead role as a princess. The film was described by her as being what “every girl would dream of coming to Bollywood for”. It is a musical love story directed by Bobby Khan that will see Leone in a completely new avatar.
These days, Sunny spends a lot of time in India describing it as “amazing living in Mumbai”, and that she feels more like a “tourist” when she goes back to the US.
Whilst it may be easy to cast negative perceptions on Sunny Leone, at the end of the day, she is an entertainer, who knows how to leave audiences mesmerised, and in that respect she is a consummate professional in whatever she does. Her foray into Bollywood has been done before by others, but time will determine the impact she has. If her ambition and dedication to work hard are anything to go by, she has a great opportunity to show her skills to the world in a different light.
Also present on the night was DJ Rink who follows in the footsteps of Australia’s own Havana Brown in being the country’s leading female DJ. “A lot of people, in India, a few years ago didn’t know what a DJ is or what they do. That is changing now.”
She had an important role to play in the Indian Premier League T20 Cricket Tournament as part of Extraa Innings. “Extremely proud of this,” she said. And then she shouted to the audience, “Who loves their cricket,” which was met with rapturous applause. It was an experience that has assisted her enormously in boosting her profile. “I really enjoyed two months of the IPL.” She has DJed in over 20 countries and over 50 clubs.
Following the Q&A, delighted guests were given an exclusive opportunity to take a photo with Sunny Leone & DJ Rink. It was a night that will long remain in the memory of those that attended.
Navneet Ganesh is the founder of Infinity Cricket