Working for 15 films in the career span of six years in the South before debuting in Bollywood with Barfi, actress Ileana D’Cruz has delivered successful movies in Bollywood ever since then. She said that there was a period when she signed films without giving a proper thought.
“I keep joking, I was the Akshay Kumar of South, I used to do four films a year. He does good films, but some films of mine were good, some weren’t. I was just signing films, there wasn’t this thing of ‘wanting to do good work’,” said the 30 year old actor.
She then decided to focus on elevating her career.
“I told myself, this is never really going to last for a long time, about time I start doing good work. Then I put my head into it completely… I had no idea about the South film industry and how it worked. When I was offered a film there, I thought how would I do it, I don’t even speak the language,” said Ileana.
She added, “When I started doing it, I was like anyway people won’t watch my film even if I do bad in it. It was a very stupid, carefree and careless attitude that I had.”
Ileana explains that she had Bollywood offers even before doing Barfi but she wasn’t ready to accept any.
“I did get Bollywood offers even before my first South film and I am thankful that I didn’t make a mess of it. If I had done a Bollywood film, which has far more exposure than the South ones even though they get released worldwide, I would have made a fool of myself,” she said.
The actress further explains about how she was uncertain to do Barfi. She said, “I was actually going to back out of Barfi as well, because I wasn’t sure. I took three months to sign it. There was something about the story. I don’t know if I will ever get to do a story like this. I decided on a whim to do it.”
Ileana played the lead in the Telugu film Pokiri, a film which was later recreated in the Hindi film Wanted featuring Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia in the lead roles. Although, she was offered to play the role in the Hindi version, she was unable to do the film due to her exams.
“I was offered a film of my own which was Wanted with Salman Khan. I was actually going to do it. I was happy that my first film would be with Salman. I remember I had exams on back then. So when Boney (Kapoor) sir asked me to do the photo shoot, I was like ‘I am sorry, I have exams on. I can’t. I didn’t think I handled it well back then because I didn’t understand the gravity of the offer. For me, it was all about finishing my exams,” said Ileana.