Ileana D'Cruz was last seen in Happy Ending Image: Fotocorp
From being dumped in real life to sleeping with two B-town hotties, Akshay Kumar and Arjan Bajwa in Rustom, the lissome Ileana D’Cruz has come a long way. Had it not been for a host of TV commercials, Ileana would literally become Happy Ending for cine-goers. FYI, it was her last film that released in 2014. The actor, who has resurfaced with a pivotal role in Rustom (2016) speaks to T2Online about her life and the much-awaited film.
Why were you out of action for almost two years?
I wish I had a profound answer to that like I was in a state of Zen or taking some time off. Actually, I was meant to do a film which towards the end was made with some other heroine. It had never happened with me before. But I think everything happens for the best. The film tanked. I’m not naming the project or the heroine, but the director had a chat with me and apologised later. Happy Ending came in November 2014. I met Tinu Suresh Desai a year after that. He’s the director of Rustom.
Did you know anything about Rustom before it was offered to you?
I knew nothing. My manager told me it’s a film with Akshay Kumar in the lead. It’s flattering to be offered a part with so much depth and performance scope. When I signed it I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off. Akshay says that I need to be more confident. But I think it’s better to be nervous before a scene because sometimes being too confident can lead to an overconfident performance. I had met Neeraj Pandey for two films but those somehow didn’t work out.
Were you expected to do more films in the performance-driven space of Barfi or in the comic-space of Main Tera Hero?
I find it so bad to say this but it’s not like the other films I did didn’t have content or a performance. You can’t always do heavy intense films. I had offers but some of them didn’t work out. I did some commercial fare at that time. All the expectations can’t be met with. And I never make half-hearted decisions. If I decide to work on a film, I give it my best. As for Main Tera Hero, it is one of those comedies where you put your brain on stand-by mode, enjoy the fare and have a good laugh and go home. It was not a forced comedy. Comedy is not easy. I had a good actor like Varun Dhawan to back on. And David Dhawan directed us. So, we were in good hands.
You made a statement recently that you had lost hope that things would work in showbiz for you.
(Cuts in) It’s wasn’t like I was brooding at home, and neither was I sulking that my life is over. I just decided to come to terms with the fact that months had gone by, and it was the longest since I had worked. On the brighter side, ironically, my last would be called Happy Ending. I used the time on hand to travel, meet my mother and spend time with her in the USA.
Of the two films that you spoke about, one was the MS Dhoni biopic and the other was Special 26?
Yes, Neeraj Pandey and I met for about 30 minutes in his office. He was discussing Dhoni. It’s a sensitive film. He was not willing to share too many details at that point. And I prefer to hear the entire story before agreeing to work on a film, especially after Happy Ending. I had thought it’ll do well but it didn’t. He respected my decision like I respected his. And yes, he had also offered me Special 26, which also didn’t work out. Before Rustom was narrated to me, I thought, ‘The guy makes great films. Two haven’t worked out with me. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this one.’
So far, all your movies have had top heroes opposite you. Is that a conscious move?
Yes, true. You need someone to back a film. It’s not the best thing for an actor to say but I am not sure if I can carry a film on my own shoulders right now. But one day I want to do a film that I completely shoulder the responsibility for. Till then, it’s good to establish yourself with good actors.
What kind of movies do you watch?
I am not a heavy film watcher. I’m hooked on to reruns of Friends. I watch cookery shows. I have Fault In Our Stars lying at home but I haven’t seen it. I like intense films with great performances, something that’s simple, that can move me to tears. About Time is a film I loved watching. I’m a sucker for love stories.
How difficult is it then to play a character who betrays in love?
No one wants to be betrayed. I have been cheated upon before, twice. So I know the feeling on the other side. Apparently, in the film, my character cheats on her husband. But more than the cheating, it was the after bit which was tougher to pull off. It was a bit difficult to envision it. I put myself in a situation where I began to imagine the person I would never want to lose. I have a wild imagination though. And I’m quite a cry baby.
Your kitty seems to be full. There’s Baadshaho next with Ajay Devgn right?
Esha Gupta and I are together again. And more than Ajay Devgn, I’m looking forward to working with Milan Luthria. He’s a fabulous director. I always wanted to working with Milan. He met me on the sets of Rustom and called me after three months. We start shooting but it will be a while before it all happens.
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