She has worked along with her director husband Anthony D’Souza in his Bollywood assignments. Meanwhile, she has run her TV shows as well. Connected to the world of entertainment, Jasmine D’Souza is now making her debut as a director with One Night Stand. The film has Sunny Leone in the lead with Tanuj Virwani as the male lead and Nyra Bannerjee in a strong role as well. While the film deals with a bold subject, Jasmine promises that the subject has been dealt with utmost sincerity. That is expected too, considering a woman director at the helm of affairs. Moreover, this is apparent in the theatrical promo of the film as well as the songs that have been unveiled. We get into a chat with the lady.
When you decided to turn director, was there any particular genre that you had in mind, or was it just incidental that One Night Stand came your way?
We were going through quite a few one line concepts without thinking about the genre I wanted to explore. There was this idea of One Night Stand came through and we went to Sunny with. We were thinking about how we could bring something more for the audience when compared to what Sunny usually portrays. We wanted to bring on something more meaningful; something where we could raise a few questions that ‘arrey haan, hamaari society mein yeh sab hota hai’. Honestly, it was the core idea which we took to Sunny as we had to first make sure that both of us were on the same page.
When we bounced off the concept to her, she thought that this would be a nice story to make. Coming from a women’s perspective, she was quite happy. This is how the journey of One Night Stand started and we began to develop the story. The script started taking shape with Sunny in mind.
What was Sunny’s involvement during this exercise?
The good part about Sunny is that she is extremely hard working. When we discussed about shaping her character in a particular way, she was there with me throughout. When I shared with her the draft of the script with the characterization sketch, it helped her understand the milieu and her part better. We designed the character further by giving it full body and range of emotions. We brought in the back story and also an idea of what would happen later in her life. She was made to understand what her relationship would be with her parents or siblings, and the circumstances that made her the way that she is.
ClichÃ©d as it may sound but did it help that as a woman, you could empathize with the character better and that further helped Sunny as well?
Of course. See, if today I am directing the film, then, I am bringing in my experiences as a sister, wife, mother and daughter. Even though my characters are fictitious, there is certain life that they had to live. Unhone bachpan mein kya kiya, jawaani mein kya kiya, sab sochna tha. Even though we are not stressing on those things explicitly in the film, these were required as they made the scenes work out the way they did. It was my job as a director to tell Sunny why she was needed to react in a particular way.
Was it easy for Sunny to get it?
To make it comfortable for all, we shot the film backwards and filmed the end portions first. I had to tell both Sunny and Tanuj that how and why everything was happening the way it did. We had these constant conversations. Both my actors understood their bit well. Sunny’s character in the post interval scenes is more serious than fun. (Smiles) There was a time when Sunny really felt that her character was not having fun. She thought if it could be livelier. However, I did help her understand why her character was developed like this during this portion of the film.
Was it a smooth exercise?
She respected the detailing and understood my vision. She had faith in the script and me as a director. In any case, the result is there for everyone to see. The character is so well formed now. It was also an outcome of the many readings that Sunny and I did. We also discussed a lot on how she should dress up in a particular way. I am glad we were on the same page right through.
So, is it fair to say that One Night Stand would be Sunny Leone’s best act till date?
(Laughs) Let me not take any such credit. She is a hard working woman and she will learn with every film that she does. She has evolved as an actress. She hasn’t done this kind of character before where she could portray a variety of emotions. In this film, she has scope to show different aspects of life. Perhaps, this is the reason why she picked up One Night Stand. I truly believe so.