There are rare times when you meet actors who speak their hearts out. Usually actors are busy shooting continuously or at other times, ‘taking their time off’. So when I met this diva, the first question that popped up was her disappearance from 70mm for almost two years now. Whilst actors cover up their absences with sugar coating, Ileana D’cruz comes out honest, saying that the offers that came her way weren’t exciting. She had already proved her acting chops with her debut film Barfi! She may not have a lot going on in reel life, but in real life, the actress has refused a series of offers, from Special 26 to MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. But the actress doesn’t regret anything. In a candid conversation with Shravan Shah, Ileana talks about Rustom, her latest hit at the Box Office, and unfolds her greatest fears and victories which make her the talk of the town.
Two years after Happy Ending, the audience saw you in Rustom. Where were you?
I wish I had a profound answer that I was in Zen mode or that I just wanted to take some time off. But that is all rubbish, because the offers I was getting were not so great. There was a film I was meant to do, and towards the end, the makers went with somebody else. It felt really weird initially, but then I thought whatever happens, happens for the best. As luck would have it, the film tanked and I was like ‘Yaay’ (giggles).
What was the name of the film?
I am not going to tell you which film that was because it is not fair to them. But I had a lovely chat with the director, and he had felt so bad, he apologised to me. I told him that it was okay and that the actress they went ahead with was a good actress.
How did Rustom happen?
Genuinely, I think that whatever has to come to you will come, and it was almost a year after Happy Ending, that I ended up meeting Tinu Desai for Rustom. Before that, I had met Neeraj Pandey twice. Unfortunately, whenever I have met him before, I would end up not doing his films, and this time, I didn’t know what to expect from Rustom. I didn’t know anything about the film except that it was a film backed by Neeraj, and that Akshay Kumar was playing the lead. I remember before I went to meet Tinu, I’d asked my manager if I had to dress up for this meeting. She was like, YES. And I’m glad I met him because as soon as he started narrating the script to me, I was tuned into it. I was shocked that I was offered such an amazing film after so many rubbish films that had come my way. I didn’t even care if I was going to be paid for this film, I had already decided that I will do this film. It was flattering that someone was offering me a role with so much depth to it.
You delivered a 100 crore film Barfi! at the beginning of your career in Bollywood, post which the audience expected you to do performance-heavy films. What went wrong?
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