MUMBAI: Hate mails and criticism were part of what Sunny Leone faced much before she made the transition from an adult film star to Bollywood. She says the brickbats didn't come her way because she is in India, but due to the mindset of the society as a whole.
Sunny's life story is set to be unveiled in an upcoming biopic "Karenjit Kaur - The Untold Story of Sunny Leone".
"Many people have the misconception that people started criticising me when I decided to come to India, but that is not true. I started getting hate mails and criticism when I was around 21 years old.
"So it has nothing to do with the country, but society in general. That was the first time I faced real hatred," Sunny told IANS in an interview.
The show "Karenjit Kaur", which will soon start streaming on the OTT platform ZEE5, revolves around the journey of Sunny, who was born as Karenjit Kaur in a middle class Sikh family in Canada.
It will trace her transition from being a little girl to becoming an adult film actress and from there to her rise in Bollywood.
"Like many families, there are some problems in our family too. There is love, hate, emotional moments in all our lives, but our parents protected my brother and me from all the negativity, as much as they could.
"But at the age of 21, when you see people are saying really nasty things about you, it affects you so badly... I was vulnerable and broken from within emotionally," said the actress, whose sensational dance moves have added glamour to songs like "Baby doll", "Laila main laila" and "Pink lips".
On how her parents dealt with the hate that came her way, Sunny said: "Reverse psychology always happens and that was definitely the case with me and my parents. They were thinking that if they forcefully stop me, I might just gain more curiosity and then I might not return from that world.
"Of course, I went to a different direction that my parents did not want me to... But I want to say that I love my life the way it is and everything happens for a reason. I have no complaints."
Sunny's big ticket to India came with a season of "Bigg Boss", after which she landed her Bollywood debut with "Jism 2".
Since then, the actress has appeared in several films like "Ragini MMS 2", "Ek Paheli Leela", "Mastizaade", "One Night Stand" and "Tera Intezaar".
She has also appeared in youth television reality shows like "MTV Splitsvilla", "Box Cricket League: Season 2" and "Man vs. Wild with Sunny Leone".
Unapologetic about the choices she has made in life, Sunny says she is glad a show like "Karenjit Kaur" is an opportunity for her to express herself.
"When the producers of the show came to us almost a year ago, they wanted to unveil the real me. There is a curiosity about my life and there is a person who is not what you see on the internet.
"I know I could have kept my personal story to myself, but you see, through this show, I am actually getting a chance to express myself, my real self," said the young mother of three children.
Sunny and her husband Daniel Weber become parents of three children - Asher, Noah and Nisha. They adopted Nisha, and their twin sons were born via surrogacy.
She wants them to enjoy the freedom of choice when they grow up.
"Adulthood is a phase where people become rebels at times and one cannot do anything with that, can we? As a mother, I want them to be good people who do not hurt anyone physically and emotionally.
"My kids should not cheat anyone, they should not steal from people... I may or may not agree with their choices in life but as individuals that is their choice. I think all I want as a mother is my children should not go through such hatred from the society that I faced," she added.