What’s a former porn actress doing in the oh-so-prudish Bollywood film industry?
by Abby Aguirre
It’s monsoon season in Goa, but intermittent showers have not prevented a crowd of hundreds from gathering on a promenade along the Mandovi River in the capital city of Panjim, where the Bollywood director Kaizad Gustad is shooting his next movie, a noirish heist story called Jackpot. Within a roped-off area are a set for an outdoor-café scene, a camera dolly and stretch of track, and a small press section, where some two dozen journalists wait on red plastic chairs. Beyond the ropes, the crowd spills into the street. A row of women in jewel-tone saris strain to get a better look, fanning out like the tail feathers of an exotic bird. Many, if not all, of the people are here to get a glimpse of the film’s heroine, Sunny Leone, a Canadian-born American actress who, in what has to be one of the more improbable crossovers in entertainment history, recently transitioned into Bollywood stardom from the world of hard-core porn.