Ileana D'Cruz in a still from Phata Poster Nikhla Hero
Ileana in a still from Phata Poster Nikhla Hero

She was the quintessential Indian woman in Anurag Basu’s magnum opus Barfi!, she was the power packed newcomer who stood out even when pitted against two celebrated names like Ranbir Kapor and Priyanka Chopra.

Ileana D’Cruz, one of the most promising faces of today, has somehow jumped up on the commercial brand wagon now. “I was never sure of doing a film like Barfi. Barfi was one film which was very unlike me. I am one of those beach Goanese girls who would like hopping around on the beach. I am not at all like Shruti. So initially when I met Dada for the role, I wasn’t quite willing to do it. It took a lot of time for me to decide whether I wanted to do it. Plus in the end I don’t even get the boy! I was just apprehensive of making it my debut,” was what she had to say.

But then she just stole the thunder out of the gripped hands of Ranbir and PeeCee as she made her way through all the glory and stardom. Doing films down south, Barfi! was one film the entire team did not expect much from, she confirms. “As a team, we were never expecting firecrackers at the box office with Barfi!. Barfi! had a strong emotional connect and it is not the typical masala films that do good business today. So we were not sure of it being a successful film but we all knew it would be a loved film. But when it did such great business, we were shocked and surprised. We were happy at the same time because Barfi!’s success made way for content oriented films. That way, yes Barfi! was a good choice made by me. It will be one film that I can show to my grandchildren and be proud of.”

But with a film as entertaining and commercial as Phata Poster…, Ileana might have wanted to break the jinx but definitely, her performance was not quite appreciated. After playing Shruti, was the complaint Kajal role a risk? “All I knew is that I am a total commercial actress. I do films like Phata Poster down South and I somehow got bracketed into the serious actress’s list after Barfi!. Even Anurag da told me to choose my second film wisely. I did not want to get boxed into a specific genre or type of films. I do not want to stereotype myself as a serious actress and hence I chose Phata Poster Nikla Hero as my second film. I wanted to try out commercial cinema and no one makes it better than Raj ji. When he narrated the film to me, I was laughing all the way. And no matter what, I am a commercial actress, I feel. So you would get to see me in such roles from now on. So definitely it is a conscious decision on my part to do films like these because I am tailor made for such films.”

The actress who did not quite make an impact with Phata Poster is definitely conjuring up some brilliant roles up her sleeve. “After Phata Poster, I am shooting for Main Tera Hero with Varun Dhawan and then I am playing lead to Saif Ali Khan in a film called Happy Ending, signed off the pretty actress when quizzed about her future projects.”

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