Sunny Leone Interview

I call the Penthouse Pet of the Year 2003 in Arizona Tuesday morning.

Luke: "When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?"

Sunny: "Every week I would make up what I wanted to be. One week I wanted to be a firefighter. Then an astronaut...a nurse...a model. I didn't have a set goal."

Luke: "What were you expected to become by your family?"

Sunny: "Being Indian (Sikh), your main objective (from your parents) as a child is to get straight As, go to university, become a doctor or a lawyer. Mainly doctor."

Luke: Was your home like the (2002) movie Bend it Like Beckham?

Sunny: "My parents were a little more liberal than the parents in that movie. They were strict but it wasn't as bad as that. I was still restricted to stay away from boys. Not show too much skin. I still got to play all the sports I wanted growing up. It was not until puberty that everything went downhill.

"They [parents] were like, you can't do anything anymore. Keep your nose in your books."

Luke: "What kind of crowd did you hang out with in highschool?"

Sunny: "I was a social butterfly. I had many different friends in many different groups. In my highschool, there were a million different cliques. I hung out with cheerleaders. I was part of a business club."

Luke: "India was known for having a caste system. Was your family from a particular caste?"

Sunny: "My parents kept us away from the caste thing. I'm pretty sure we were part of some caste. I'm not so sure which one it was."

Luke: "Did your parents grow up in India?"

Sunny: "Yes. Both my parents grew up in India. My dad was born in Tibet and raised in New Delhi. My mom is from a small town in the mountains called Nahan. Both northern parts of India. That's why my skin color is so light."

Sunny was born in Ontario, Canada. She moved to Southern California in 1995 at age 14. She now lives in Sacramento.

Luke: "So when you turned 18, what did you do?"

Sunny: "I was going to a junior college in Orange County. A girl who was sitting beside me [in English class] was an exotic dancer. I was surprised. When you are growing up, you have a certain stereotype about what people are like. From that moment on, I changed my view...

"She introduced me to an agent (John Stevens). I went down and met him. I thought it was a regular modeling agency. It turned out it wasn't. He introduced me to a video company that shot T&A movies, HBO movies. He introduced me to the photographer (Jay Allen) who shot me for Penthouse magazine."

Luke: How did your life change once you appeared in Penthouse?

Sunny: "When I shot for the magazine, I didn't quite understand what Penthouse was until after a few promotions I did for the magazine. I shot for the magazine and then I lay low. One day I got a FedEx in the mail with my magazine. I saw the pictures inside and I thought it was great.

"I thought it was awesome when they started calling and doing the interviews and getting me out to promotions and then finally realizing while you are sitting there signing autographs how many people really do know who you are. It was amazing. It's fun to watch and learn all your fans and see them all."

Luke: "What have you loved and hated about the celebrity that comes with your work as a model?"

Sunny: "What's nice about the way my pictures look and me as a person is that without make-up on, I look even more younger than the grand pictures with the make-up and hair. I live a regular life. People might say, oh, is that her? No, I don't think it is. A lot of people come up to me and say, oh, you're Sunny Leone.

"I've gotten lucky in that respect. I've gotten to travel the world.

"Things I don't like so much -- traveling. Spending 14-hours of the day traveling."

Luke: "I wonder how long your hair would be if you never cut it. I know many Sikhs don't cut their hair."

Sunny: "It'd be pretty long. I don't think that looks good. After a certain length, you look like you need a hair cut."

Luke: "Are you going to college now?"

Sunny: "No. I work for myself and for sunnyleone.com and sunnymoney.com, and I work for Adam & Eve."

Luke: "You were studying to be a pediatric nurse. Why did you give up on that?"

Sunny: "I didn't necessarily give up on it. I weighed up my options. When you make as much or more as a doctor does, life changes. For a while, I didn't know what I was doing. I came to the realization that I need to do what I'm good at.

"Working for Adam & Eve, I get contracted out for my ideas. To see them all go through... It is fun to be behind the camera as much as it is behind it. In the last year-and-a-half, I've learned so much about the internet. A year-and-a-half ago, I didn't even know what HTML means. Now I can build galleries. I work on my site every day. It is updated seven days a week.

"I work with different webmasters all the time building the Adam & Eve stores."

Luke: "How do you decide how far you will go on camera?"

Sunny: "That depends. Every year changes. You never know where you are going to start and where you are going to stop. There's going to be point when I will want to settle down but I don't see that as being any time soon. I will model for at least another three-to-five years until things start falling where they shouldn't. Everything changes so much every year.

"I am never going to do hardcore boy-girl."

Luke: "How would your best friends describe you?"

Sunny: "I love to have fun and joke around. I'm always doing funny little stunts or pulling a prank... or horsing around all night long. I like to surround myself with people with good humor."

Luke: "What type of men are you attracted to?"

Sunny: "I like men that are smart, not necessarily book smart. Looks only go so far. There are a lot of gorgeous men around me all the time and I have nothing to say to them. For a man to keep me intellectually happy for hours is very attractive on top of being physically fit."

Luke: "How has your celebrityhood affected your dating life?"

Sunny: "Once a small town finds out who you are, you can go all over town with all your friends, and a lot of guys will act like they like you and they want to date you just for who you are and not just persona that the rest of the world sees you as... And then one night they start calling you, 'Hey Sunny Leone!' You turn around and say, 'What are you doing?'

"Then it comes down to them not being able to handle that you make more money than them...or just the celebrity and the acknowledgement of thousands of people who want to talk to you and shake your hand and that want me to flirt with them for a couple of minutes and make them feel like they are the only person in the world that I am talking to right now. For a significant other, they need to be extremely confident in themselves to be able to date me, and a lot of men are just not like that. They want me all to themselves. That's it. Nobody else."

Luke: "Every man wants to be the most important thing in your life."

Sunny: "Most people are like that and then you meet a few who are not. That's always great. They will care for you just the way you are. At the end of the day, you come home to them and only them. I don't go home to Joe Blow or Sally Whatever."

Luke: "At what age did you lose your virginity?"

Sunny: "Seventeen."

Luke: "Have you been promiscuous?"

Sunny: "I've had four boyfriends and not very many in between. I can count the people I've been with on both of my hands."

Luke: "At what point in your life have you been the happiest?"

Sunny: "Now. I'm on my own and I do my own thing. I'm intellectually being pushed to limits that make me think. It's great to know that there are people who see me for my intelligence, not just my beauty."

Luke: "How do you know when someone is seeing you for your intelligence and not just your beauty?"

Sunny: "You figure that out with time."

Luke: "Do you like to read?"

Sunny: "I spend more time reading email than books. The last book I read was Angels and Demons. Now I'm reading The DaVinci Code and Jenna Jameson's book."

Luke: "What are your ambitions aside from stuff related to the adult industry?"

Sunny: "Lately, all my focus has been on the adult side of things. I haven't thought about outside... It's a fun industry. I haven't felt the need to look outside of it."

Luke: "How has your time in the adult industry affected you?"

Sunny: "I've grown up. I'm 23. I've grown up more than most 23-year olds. I've gone through a lot more than 23-year olds in a positive way."

Luke: "Have you suffered much stigma from being a nude model?"

Sunny: "There's always the positive in the negative. You just let all those negatives go away and keep everything that's good."

Luke: "How do you relate to your Sikh heritage? Do you study it? Selectively observe it?"

Sunny: "It's not a part of my everyday life. There are things that are questionable, just like any religion. It's a part of me but it's not. I believe in G-d but it's hard to incorporate all the rules and regulations and beliefs into your day when you're mixing with porn. You can't really do both."

Luke: "How do you decide what is right and wrong?"

Sunny: "By what makes me happy and do unto others what you would want done to yourself. I believe in karma."

Luke: "Do you believe that you have an eternal soul?"

Sunny: "I believe that you are going to live after death."