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West Berkshire schoolgirl's starring role in Bollywood series

St Gabriel's pupil hits headlines for her role in biopic about controversial star

A TALENTED Ashmore Green schoolgirl has her sights set on Hollywood after playing a starring role in a recent series about controversial Bollywood star Sunny Leone.

Fourteen-year-old St Gabriel’s pupil Rysa Saujani is hitting headlines and gaining plaudits around the world for her portrayal of the younger version of Leone, who is the ‘most Googled’ woman in India.

Leone’s former career as an adult film industry actress and her reluctance to conform to cultural norms has gained her millions of fans and followers, but has also sparked protests and created controversy.

To many, playing a younger version of such a contentious figure would have been a daunting prospect, but Rysa says she enjoyed filming Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone, for two months in South Africa.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, the Dubai-born teenager, who lives in Stoney Lane, said: “It was just amazing. Such an incredible experience.

“It was definitely an emotionally-challenging role to play and quite intense.”

Talking about Sunny Leone, she said: “She was so sweet, so lovely and encouraging.

“She was honestly one of most down-to-earth people I’ve met. There is so much controversy behind her, so much emotion, but she couldn’t have been nicer.

“The whole cast were lovely people to work with.”

When asked what reaction she’d had from people, the youngster said: “The support has been overwhelming and I’m insanely grateful for that.”

Rysa is no stranger to the silver screen, having featured in the 2017 Bollywood horror film Dobaara: See Your Evil. It was that role that led her to this one.

“Someone working on their production team was working on this project,” she said.

“They got in touch with my mum and asked if I’d like to audition for the part.

“I said yes and they then sent me some of script, but I had no idea what the part was at the time.

“I sent back a self-taped audition and they offered me the part.”

Does she have her sights set on Hollywood? Rysa said: “Yes, definitely. Hollywood is something I’ve always wanted to do, so it’s a goal.

“I’d love to pursue a career in acting and modelling, because I love it, but at the moment I’m focused on my studies.”

The web series Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone will be aired on Zee5.

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