Years ago, a Bollywood actress posing naked might have sparked riots (we already know what happens when a Bollywood actress gains weight). But for Sherlyn Chopra, baring all for Playboy and being the first Indian woman to do so could come with benefits.
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner confirmed via Twitter last month that Chopra will appear nude in the November issue of the men’s magazine. Chopra touted her “achievement” to the BBC. She posed at the Playboy mansion in July after writing to Hefner expressing her interest.
“I am thinking of making him my idol because he lives his life on his terms and conditions,” she said. “I also live my life on my terms and conditions.”
It’s a path that’s been trod before. Sunny Leone, a Canadian-born Indian actress, made her name in softcore pornography before transitioning to Bollywood. She debuts in the ironically named Bollywood thriller “Jism 2″ this week.
Pakistani actress Veena Malik was shunned by her country’s film industry after posing semi-nude for India’s FHM magazine. But she managed to find work in India, appearing in and filming eight Bollywood movies this year.
Chopra was a relative unknown before Playboy. She’s appeared in a handful of Bollywood films (the Hindustan Times described her performances as “blink-and-miss”) and participated in the Indian version of “Big Brother” in 2009.
Mumbai Mirror columnist Aseem Chhabra told ABCNews.com that with India’s liberalization and array of new cable news networks looking for gossip, people like Chopra have an opportunity to become household names.
“Every year, there are a couple of starlets who sort of make news by being shocking,” he said. “Film censors are getting more liberal because there have been protests that they randomly cut scenes from. And in the process, these people are rising up.”
But what’s shown on the screen won’t be the stuff displayed at Hef’s legendary mansion. Playboy is banned in India, and kissing on the big screen only became acceptable in the past few years. (Chhabra noted that “there are still many actors and actresses who may not want to kiss.”)
“With India transitioning to the Western world, all of this is happening,” he said. “Of course, compared to Western standards, it’s so little they show.”