Like many of her colleagues from South Indian cinema Ileana D’Cruz intends to move to Mumbai after discovering success in this part of the world.
In ‘Barfi!’ this pretty star of the Telugu cinema has managed to hold her own in spite of bravura performances by Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor.
Says the pretty actress, “I am planning to move to Mumbai very soon, probably in the next couple of months.”
In fact Ileana says she has consciously worked towards focusing on her career in Mumbai. “This is why I haven’t signed anything new in the South. I made a decision to not sign anything while working on ‘Barfi!’. Now that it’s out I will be in Mumbai to build a career here.”
Ileana is looking for property in Mumbai. “I am in the process of buying a place. I am looking. The hunt is on. I realize I’d have to divide my time between the South and Mumbai. A lot of people in the South are wondering if I will say goodbye to Telugu cinema. But I really don’t think that’s possible. I am really proud to be part of Telugu and now Hindi cinema. The two kinds of cinema are so diverse culturally and yet part of one unified popular cultural experience that’s Indian cinema. I’ve so much fun doing Telugu cinema. They’re so colourful and so much fun.”
Ileana says she’d play it by the ear. “I’ll take it as it comes. Whether Hindi or Telugu, I’d do the films that I connect with. Like I had this amazing gut-feeling about Barfi.”
Clad in a saree Ileana as Bengali wife cuts a graceful figure as the woman who sacrifices her love for Ranbir’s character. Ileana has chosen a very unconventional Hindi debut for herself.
“Honestly I wasn’t looking for something so unconventional for my Bollywood debut. I’d have settled for something far more conventional and glamorous. But then everybody takes that glamorous route. I just went with my instincts. When I heard the script of Barfi I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to pull off the role. To play this Bengali woman was quite a change of image from what I’m seen wearing and doing in my Telugu films,” Ileana says happily a day after Barfi is declared a winner.
“It was quite a cultural change. Very frankly I undertook no preparation. I asked my director Anurag Basu if he wanted me to seek out reference points for how to play my character. But we just went with what Anurag instructed me to do. I’d say my character Shruti was hard to put across. I am glad people have liked me in Barfi.”
Ileana is in talks for more Hindi films. She is contract-bound to do one more film with UTV but free to work with whoever she chooses.
Sighs Ileana, “Every film I do is a learning experience. Barfi was a real challenge.”
She is working on her Hindi. “I am learning. I’ve dubbed my own lines in Barfi. But I don’t yet converse in Hindi. I need to build up the confidence to do so.”
Ileana’s family stays in Goa. “So I can’t go to Goa for holidays. It’s home for me,” she quips and adds, “But my older sister is married and she lives in Mumbai. So that’s home too.”