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INDIA Porn star creates a stir in Bollywood debut

Sunny Leone, born in Canada to Indian parents, plays a porn actress in the Hindi film ‘Jism 2’

AFP
August 3, 2012

Mumbai: An Indo-Canadian porn star makes her Bollywood debut on Friday in what is expected to be one of India’s raunchiest mainstream movies, which is already raising eyebrows in the sexually conservative country.

Sunny Leone, born in Canada to Indian parents, plays a porn actress in the Hindi film “Jism 2” (Body 2) that opens in cinemas on Friday to much buzz, as well as controversy over its provocative posters.

Mumbai’s mayor, Sunil Prabhu, has ordered their removal from public buses in the city, India’s entertainment capital, after a local legislator complained the image used was obscene, the Press Trust of India reported.

The advertisement shows a naked woman reclining suggestively under a sheer, wet sheet, although the model is not 31-year-old Leone herself.

Critics of the move say it is the latest example of “moral policing” in Mumbai, where numerous recent raids on popular nightspots have angered the city’s youth - a more liberal, Westernised generation than their parents.

Mocking the decision to take down the posters on Twitter, the film’s director Pooja Bhatt thanked the complainants “for giving Jism 2 cult status!”

Leone, an award-winning porn star in the United States, made her name in India in the reality television series Bigg Boss last year.

She told online portal Bollywood Hungama that her first Hindi film - a sequel to 2003’s “Jism” - is “not frivolous cinema by any means”.

“Yes, the promos may have given an indication of a sex-laden film but inherently it is a dramatic thriller. Wait for some surprises,” she said.

A video of the film’s title song on YouTube has already notched up nearly three million views over the past month.

At a promotional event for the movie in Delhi last Friday, Leone shocked India’s media by posing in white lingerie, lying on a bed.

She is also appearing in India in a televised advertisement for black, grape-flavoured condoms and an animal charity campaign for sterilisation of pet cats and dogs.

Leone said she plans to keep making adult movies in Los Angeles, where she owns her own production company, but will refrain from appearing in porn roles herself over the next couple of years.

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