A Google search in 2011 turned the course of her career. That year, the production team at Viacom in Mumbai was scouting for an adult film actor to feature in the fifth season of Bigg Boss, India’s version of the Big Brother franchise.
“From the beginning, the makers of the show wanted an adult film actress in the house. But they knew that the audience may not be ready as yet. By the time we were prepping for season five, it was time,” says Ujjwala Dutt, one of the producers of the show.
When they found Sunny Leone online, her Indian ethnicity tipped the scales in her favour. While she was unsure about joining the show, there was no denying the opportunity it presented to be introduced to a whole new audience. “My husband and manager Daniel Weber and I talked it through and decided it would be a great chance to explore a new entertainment market,” she says.