India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Cover Story
September 25, 2015

The Other Side of Ileana D’Cruz

Text by Shashi Baliga. Photographs by Rohan Shrestha. Styling by Nisha Jhangiani. Make-up and hair by Daniel Bauer, Artist Factory India

There are two versions of Ileana D’Cruz. Place a camera before her and she sizzles; take it away and she’s a free-spirited beach girl. Verve gets to see a bit of both

There are some life decisions Ileana D’Cruz has arrived at (some the hard way).

1. “It’s my job to be an actress; not to be an entertainer 24/7. I will perform only for the camera. I can’t make a scene to draw attention to myself; I can’t do that crazy shit.”

2. “I’m a very friendly person, but only if I’m sure that you’re okay with it and I’m not intruding into your space. Otherwise, I will not get in there.”

3. “You could be the best person in the world but there’s always someone who’s going to be disappointed in you. You’re always going to rub someone the wrong way whether you like it or not. You can’t please everyone.”

4. “I like to keep things a little private. You lose a little bit of that mystery and beauty if you keep harping on what’s very personal and precious to you.”

I couldn’t say I wasn’t warned.

Taking off her make-up post the photo shoot, Ileana sums it all up with the air of one whose mind will not be swerved: “One thing I’ve always told myself, and one thing I’ve always made sure of, is that I won’t change my individuality just to be a part of the film industry.”

Right, so it’ll have to be on her terms. But when she talks, she compensates that by not hiding behind words or acting coy; what a relief. She clams up only when it comes to the b-for-boyfriend word, so we’ll get to that last. But like most stars, when Ileana says ‘personal life’, what she means, is more specifically, her love life. The rest is open.

Especially her big break in Bollywood, Barfi. Lucky girl, everyone said, to kick off with such a blockbuster of a movie that kept the critics happy and saw her holding her own against Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. Hey, it wasn’t luck, it was all thanks to a lot of work and the story wasn’t all that easy, she insists. When she signed Barfi, she says, “So many people told me, ‘What a stupid choice you’ve made. Great that you’re doing a film with Ranbir, but when there’s Priyanka, what are you going to be doing?’ So, I said, we’ve both got very different roles and I think it all comes together very harmoniously, but they couldn’t buy that.” However, she went with her gut feel and, then, “They all had to shut up.”

But before that victory came what she calls a ‘breaking point’. “Nobody knows this but I had an emotional breakdown right before Barfi released. The intensity, the pressure, and the promotions — it all got to me. I couldn’t function. I felt, oh god, maybe I’ve made a big mistake.” When she saw the movie a week before its release, she cried, not just because it was so moving, but “out of self-pity; who was going to look at me?”

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