There has been incessant buzz about Sunny Leone’s tantrums on the sets of her upcoming films. Her latest film Beiimaan Love has suffered losses and if producer Rajeev Chaudhari kept quiet till now it’s only because he was waiting for the film to release. She has not even promoted the film. Now Chaudhuri recounts the experience and the hell Sunny and her husband Daniel Weber put him through...
How was the experience of working with Sunny Leone?
It was a bad experience. It was not business that I did because after you sign someone as an artiste with a huge signing amount, you expect dates from her within a period of six months and then you roll and release the film.
Of her Rs 2 crore fee, she was paid a quarter as a signing amount. I got limited dates from Sunny after one year and three months. I signed her in early 2014 and we started shooting from July 2015. I had to pay interest on the money. I had to wait a long time for her dates as she had given them away to other films and was busy with long holidays and shows. Also Read: Beiimaan Love movie review: Sunny Leone gives her best shot to keep this bad piece of cinema together
Is it true you found it tough to cast a good hero opposite her?
Yes. The heroes I wanted to sign on, all liked the script, but when they heard Sunny was the actress they shied away. Akshay Oberoi was my first choice, but he had some problem with Sunny. He said if I took any any other heroine besides her, he would do it. Actors like Freddy Daruwala and Kartik Aaryan also turned me down because they did not want to act with Sunny. After a year of struggle, when I told Daniel about it, he recommended Rajniesh Duggal.Rajniesh Duggal
Did she throw a lot of tantrums on the set while shooting with regards to costumes and scenes?
Yes, it was very tough to shoot with her after the film went on floors. Her conditions were no kissing, no intimacy and no lingerie though she had committed to it before we started shooting. Sunny suddenly wanted to turn sanskari naari! Right from the first day of shoot till the last shot, she and Daniel had issues. We had to cut parts of the song Main Adhoora too. I don’t know why they did this, but it hit me badly in business. Macau’s Studio City had agreed to sponsor us for the shoot and I had cracked the deal. Just a few days before we left for Macau, I got an email saying it’s not fitting with their image, so they are cancelling our shoot. I am assuming they didn’t know who Sunny was, when they agreed earlier.
What about editing out scenes?
I had to cut off two bedroom scenes because Daniel said she wouldn’t shoot them, though they were to be were aesthetically shot. They wanted to do the bedroom scene in the kitchen! Post Mastizaade, they had decided that the skin show is over. After the film, they became very strict and Daniel would send me emails specifying what she wouldn’t do. I am not a big corporate house. As an individual producer, I could not fight. Where would I go to fight in court? So I bowed to their wishes and completed the film. Though the bedroom scenes involved some lovemaking, they didn’t have much exposure. They got upset so we had to chop off those scenes which would have brought me money from the single screen theatres. I really slogged hard on this film but these people didn’t cooperate...
Did you recover the money made?
Not yet, as I am still struggling, though I may get some from satellite rights. Sunny wanted to use this film to revamp her image as it showed her as a businesswoman but we have to cater to the masses too. I wanted her to look classy like a good, mainstream heroine and yet not deprive the masses of her dose. I could have made good money but they ditched me. Sunny was a miscast. I regret signing her as she’s not clicking with multiplexes or the single screen theatres. It’s unfair what happened. I paid Sunny her fee. If she wanted to do art cinema, she should ask for that price. If you have given everything to films like Mastizaade, why this partiality towards me?
Is it true that her husband interferes a lot too?
He is the captain of all this. He would see my rushes and asked me cut this or that scene saying there’s too much exposure. Daniel is very interfering as he would be sending the emails.
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