“Not Doing ‘Barfi!’ Would Have Been my Biggest Mistake” – Ileana D’Cruz in Conversation with Koimoi
Ileana D’Cruz has managed to take one big stride in the world of Bollywood. Albeit a bit belated, her debut Hindi flick Barfi! has done the trick not just for the makers but also her own standing as an actress. Even as the buzz continues to grow around the new entrant, the pretty woman can be merely seen smiling and filling herself with constant updates around the film’s progress commercially as well as with the audience.
Not many actresses would have made a Bollywood start with a film like ‘Barfi!’ which is as unconventional as it gets. Still you took the plunge. The results must be heartening, isn’t it?
You know what, when Anurag Basu and I spoke about the film, he asked me just one question that actually managed to put all my fears to rest. After narrating the story, he said – ‘Ileana, you may feel free to say yes or no to the film. However just think of one thing that in your career, would you ever get a film like this?’. I didn’t say anything there and then but just asked him to give me a couple of days so that I could ponder over the question. I thought about it and could actually feel that he was absolutely right. I had no other choice but to say yes to the film.
However for someone like who comes from the industry down South and has been a part of quite a few hardcore ‘masala’ outing, didn’t you fear that the subtle world of Barfii! would push you into a different zone altogether? Moreover Ranbir and Priyanka were already on board as a couple.
I stopped thinking about Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra as these superstars from Bollywood and instead saw them as ‘Barfi’ and ‘Jhilmil’. Then I saw myself as Shruti and honestly, I was flattered that Anurag saw me in that role. It was all so sensitive and beautifully conceptualised. I was completely carried away by what I was told and today when I look back at the film, I guess it would have been pretty much the biggest mistake of my career had I allowed the film to have slipped away from me.
Once the film kick-started, it must have been Anurag all the way, isn’t it?
(Smiles) Yes, and I owe everything to him. See, when you working in a new language for the first time, you definitely need a director who has utmost belief and faith in you. If I am getting all the appreciation today, it is entirely due to him. To play the part of Shruti could have been nerve wrecking but it was Anurag who made it an easy ride. Moreover I was working with these two amazing actors, Ranbir and Priyanka, which only made the experience and the better.
So what happens next from this point on? Is there any criteria that you have set for yourself before finalising any film?
Honestly, now I want to do something completely different from ‘Barfi!’. I want to challenge myself and explore different facet of me as an actor. It has been an amazing journey so far and the offers which are coming in have been lovely. It’s on me now to see which ones I have to choose or not.