The firangi divas never had it good in Bollywood. In Shoojit Sircar's Madras Cafe, Nargis Fakhri whose Hindi is still ...errr...shaky (read: non-existent) conveniently plays a half-British journalist. Every single spoken line of hers is in English...with Hindi subtitles for those who don't follow her global twang.
Now in Jackpot: Full Jhol, Sunny Leone goes a step further. She will speak her own Hindi lines. A full-fledged Hindi-Urdu tutor has been deployed for the purpose.
Director Kaizad Gustad smiles at memories of another firangi actress in his debut film Boom, Kaizad had introduced Katrina Kaif. Her Hindi was non-existent. And her dialogues had to be dubbed. Now Kaizad gets Sunny Leone to be one-up on Katrina in Jackpot.
Says the director, "Sunny is the only female character in Jackpot. And I hope to display her acting chops. We're reading the script every day. She will do her own Hindi dialogues. We're working on it every day. She is really one of the hardest-working actresses I've worked with. Just like Katrina. When Katrina came to Mumbai she didn't know a word of Hindi."
Jackpot also stars Makarand Despande who plays a funny twisted Konkani cop. And the Tamil star Bharath. "It's basically a jhol (conflict) between Sachiin Joshi and Bharath with Sunny Leone pulling a fast one on them, and Naseer pulling a faster one. I am raring to finish. I've a lot of films to make. I am making three uninterrupted back-to-back films in the next one year."
Sunny Leone seems mighty charged with the challenge of mastering the rashtra-bhasha. "I have learned all my Hindi lines for all my movies here. Even though Jism 2 was dubbed, I still had to learn every single word. And in Ragini MMS too I will be dubbing my own voice. It's very important to me to learn and work hard to get it right. I am extremely competitive so when someone tells me I can't do something like act, dance, express emotions on screen, or speak Hindi, all it makes me do is work harder to prove all those negative people wrong."