Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt enters the "Bigg Boss 5" house Monday and says he has decided to offer porn star Sunny Leone, who is also participating in the reality show, the lead role in his movie "Jism 2".
"I am not casting her for her body, but I see that loneliness and heartbroken soul that is behind that smile. The entertainment business itself is not a cakewalk, so the porn business would have been a really tough ride for her," Bhatt told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
"I love casting people who are real. People who have gone through highs and lows to reach a stature where people look up to them for their hard work. Sunny is being shown in a bright light with an exotic image on television, but I sensed that she must have gone through a lot to earn a name in an industry which people don't appreciate," added the 61-year-old.
"Jism" released in 2003 was an unexpected box office success and made debutants John Abraham and Bipasha Basu known names in the film industry.
Born to a Punjabi family in Ontario, Sunny has appeared in various reality shows in the US, and was named among the world's top 12 porn stars by fashion magazine Maxim in 2010.
Bhatt feels Sunny has an emotional 'edge' which could work wonders for "Jism 2".
"'Jism 2' narrates the story of a woman who transcends from the 'body' to the 'soul'. I wanted to approach an actress who not only has the physical attributes but also the emotional 'edge' to carry off the complexity of the role.
"I see Sunny as a perfect fit for the film and the script. Had approached Bipasha Basu and Mallika Sherawat for the role earlier, but things didn't work out," he added.
What made Bhatt choose Colors reality show "Bigg Boss 5" as a platform to announce the film.
"Announcing a film is as important as any other aspect of filmmaking, whether it be releasing it or promoting it. 'Bigg Boss' is a great platform to reach a wide audience. And we thought it was the right time to approach her," he said.