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'I am very self-conscious about my body'

Last updated on: April 03, 2014 18:33 IST

Image: Ileana D'Cruz in Main Tera Hero
Rajul Hegde/ in Mumbai

'I love music, but I get traumatised dancing on screen. I get self-conscious as I am not a trained dancer.'

Ileana D'Cruz gets ready for Main Tera Hero.

Ileana D'Cruz gets to show off her toned body in her upcoming film, Main Tera Hero, something that wasn't possible in her Bollywood blockbuster film Barfi!, thanks to her sari-clad character.

The actress hopes to recreate the success with her new film, co-starring Varun Dhawan and Nargis Fakhri. It has been directed by David Dhawan, and will release on April 4.

Ileana discusses her glamorous co-stars, her Bollywood plans and who her idea of Mr Right is. Rajul Hegde listens in. 

Are you more comfortable with Varun Dhawan compared to earlier co-stars Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapur, as you are both relatively new to the industry?

Yes, definitely, we hit it off better. Maybe because the film required us to be like that.

I really like Ranbir (Kapoor, her co-star in Barfi!) but we really didn’t chat although he is known to be a talkative person.

Shahid (Kapoor) and I didn’t have many scenes together (in Phata Poster Nikla Hero) because most of the scenes were with his mom.

Varun and I are almost the same age. It felt like we were college buddies.

It was something about the atmosphere on the sets. Main Tera Hero was very easygoing and most of the time it did not even feel like work.


'In Barfi!, no one got to see my body'

Image: Ileana D'Cruz in Main Tera Hero

You look very glamorous in this film. Are you comfortable with that after a debut like Barfi!?

It feels great.

In Barfi! no one got to see my body, so here people can finally see all the work that I have put into it.

I think people have certain expectations after Barfi!.

This isn’t a path breaking film. In fact, Barfi! was supposed to be just a simple and beautiful film, but it turned out to be what it did. And I am very proud of it.

Main Tera Hero is a lighthearted, entertaining film that is not meant to be taken seriously.

Are you comfortable wearing a bikini?

I am very self-conscious about my body.

I still feel embarrassed when people compliment me. I still can’t relate to it.

It’s not a bikini scene. I don’t think I am fit enough for that. I have just shown my tummy (smiles).


'I don't want to sign anything and everything'

Image: Ileana D'Cruz
Photographs: Ileana D'Cruz/Twitter

After Barfi!, what kind of offers did you get?

I don’t have a checklist. I don't look for stuff and I don't have a plan in place.

All I can say is that I don't want to do anything insignificant. In fact, I asked Anurag Basu (director of Barfi!) why he chose me and he said he didn't know.

I think it's the director's perception. There was nothing you could see of Shruti (the character she plays in Barfi!) in me.

I had this glamorous image down south. I got my chance with Barfi!. I loved the character that I played. If I get a chance again I will definitely take it up.

You have worked with reputed directors so far.

I don’t want to sign anything and everything. I got many offers before Barfi! but I took my time.

Post Barfi!, I chose to work with Rajkumar Santoshi, a very good director. And David Dhawan is a legend in his own field.

'Davidji didn't favour Varun on the sets just because he is his son'

Image: argis Fakhri, Varun Dhawan and Ilena D'Cruz in Main Tera Hero

Had you seen David Dhawan’s films before?

I don't watch many Hindi films; at least not before I started acting.

But I used to watch Davidji's films. I didn't know they were his films, but watched them for Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor. My favourite film of his is Biwi No 1.

How is David as a director?

Davidji is not like I expected.

He is more like a friend, a father figure. At the same time, I could talk to him about anything.

He got to know the real me. People think I am silent and shy. There is a side of me which he recognised immediately. He tells me ‘I know you are a kamini.’

There was no pretentiousness with him. It felt like I was working with family, honestly. It was really easy.

David Dhawan has worked extensively with the likes of Juhi Chawla and Karisma Kapoor, who belong to a different generation of actresses. Was he able to adjust to the demands and working styles of the newer lot like you and Nargis in this film?

Oh yes, definitely. You have to see the man to believe it.

He is probably the biggest prankster on the set.

He is very naughty and young at heart. We always say that Davidji is like a child. He comes down to your level.

He is not arrogant about the fact that he is much older and a senior filmmaker who is a brand in himself.

He is very relaxed, very easygoing; He knows that at the end of the day, he has to make a really good film. That's his priority.

He didn't favour Varun on the sets just because he is his son.

'I get traumatised dancing on screen'

Image: Varun Dhawan and Ilena D'Cruz in Main Tera Hero

What’s your equation with Nargis Fakhri?

We get along so well, not like the things we hear. We had good stylists and got amazing stuff to wear.

It's not that actresses can't be friends; it's just that we are busy with our own work.

Priyanka Chopra (her co star in Barfi!) is the biggest workaholic I have ever met. She is constantly working. I have never met somebody who works as much as she does.

Although you have worked with all the hottest actors, there aren’t any link-up stories. Why?

I was never attracted to any of them, sorry!

I might get into trouble for saying this. This industry is a small place and I believe that there is no smoke without fire. People keep their lives private, and so do I.

You have been lucky with the music in all your films. Do you enjoy dancing?

I love music, but I get traumatised dancing on screen.

I get self-conscious as I am not a trained dancer.

I was terribly nervous with Shahid because he is a fabulous dancer. But I can dance well the minute I am not stressed.

With Varun, we got to be such good friends that I was comfortable dancing with him. He insisted that I dance with him. I didn’t have any sort of barriers with him.

'If I get a really good Hollywood film, and if I want to shift base, I might do it'

Image: Ileana D'Cruz
Photographs: Ileana D'Cruz/Instagram

Actresses like you, Kajal Agarwal, Tamannah have moved to Bollywood. Don’t your fans down south feel sad?

The day I start worrying and focusing on what my fans want, I will lose my identity.

I appreciate the love and find it very flattering, but I feel there will be a day when another actress will come, and my fans will go away.

So I can’t form that attachment to people. It’s something I acknowledge but don’t think about too much.

I do what I feel is right. Tomorrow if I get a really good Hollywood film, and if I want to shift base, I might do it.

What is your idea of Mr Right? Which actor comes closest to that?

I don’t go by appearance. He has to be genuine, truthful and chivalrous.

What puts me off is someone trying to be somebody he is not.

It’s Varun!

He is so disconnected from the film industry, so grounded.

He knows his priorities and is a very good man. All his qualities are admirable.

'People probably perceive me only as a serious actress'

Image: Ileana D'Cruz
Photographs: Ileana D'Cruz/Twitter

Are you doing a glamorous role to break out of the unglamorous image of Barfi!?

Yes. I loved Barfi! like I said before. But I think an actress has to diversify.

You have to mould yourself into anything your director wants you to be.

People probably perceive me only as a serious actress. I want to change that.

So, who better to work with than Davidji?

What’s in the pipeline?

I have Happy Ending with Saif Ali Khan.

I don’t have any South films. I am getting offers but I will take time off to go there only if something is really worthwhile.

It’s a balancing act because doing a film takes far more time here than there.

It doesn’t matter whether it is Bollwood or Tollywood. You need to work with the right people.