The beautifully Ileana D'Cruz is one of the few heroines who have been dabbling between Bollywood and south film industry and have been fairly successful in them both. Even though she was missing from the scene for some time till now, Ileana D'Cruz is more than making up for the time in the form of a stellar performance in this week's release Rustom, in which she has been paired to none other than Akshay Kumar himself!
Firstly, what does the name 'Ileana' actually mean?
There are so many meanings to my name, one of which means 'the bright shining one'. My parents chose this name from a book.
After having done films like Happy Ending and Main Tera Hero, you have been missing from the silver screen. Was it a conscious decision or you were just waiting for the right scripts in Bollywood?
To an extent, it was a conscious decision. Because, I just did not want to do anything and everything that came my way. I was consciously waiting for the right script. During this period, I did not like the films that were being offered to me. Moreover, I was a bit conflicted after Happy Ending did not do well.
What did the failure of Happy Ending teach you?
It taught me many things. One of which was to stop trusting my guts so much.
Let me just ask you an impromptu question. While you were waiting for the right script, what were you busy doing in life?
During that time, I travelled so much. Because of my hectic schedules, I hardly got get time to see my family because they are all over the place. That's why went to USA to see my mother. Post which, I spent a gala time visiting Australia.
What was it about Rustom that made you sign the film?
I normally dally a lot to give my nod. But, when I heard the story and about my character in Rustom, I was completely blown away and said yes instantly.
Since the story of Rustom has been inspired by many real life incidents, did you do any homework for your role?
Not really. I have only followed the script. The research of the film has been done by the writers, who have done a great job. I don't believe in researching on a topic. While I totally go with the director's vision, I add my own flair to it. Rustom's director Tinu Desai was extremely clear as to what he wanted out of every character.
I play the role of Cynthia Pavri, who happens to be Rustom Pavri's wife. Mine is an extremely strong and well etched role.
Is it true that, after Barfi, you consider your role in Rustom to be your most emotional role that you have ever played?
Yes, very much. I cannot recall any other film after Barfi, where I had cried so much. Every single scene in Rustom, wherein I was supposed to cry, I did not use glycerine, as tears came naturally to me. That was the kind of my character's intensity.
Was there any audition that you underwent for the role of Cynthia Pavri?
Not at all. It's the most flattering thing when someone comes to you with a role that's written especially for you.
What was the brief that was given to you about Cynthia Pavri?
Cynthia Pawri is basically a flawed person…someone who is not perfect. She not just has shades of grey, but also ends up making a really big mistake. She was probably at the wrong place at the wrong time. I do feel that women will be able to relate to the character in some way. In a nutshell, Cynthia Pavri can be called as the catalyst.
How was it to work with THE Akshay Kumar?
There was a lovely connection between Akshay Kumar and me. Let me give you an example. There was a particular scene in the film that the director liked and Okayed. Still, Akshay Kumar looked at me with the expression 'You can do much better than that'. We reshot that scene and the result was simply fabulous. One can learn so many things from Akshay Kumar.
How was your equation with Esha Gupta? Generally, whenever there are two heroines in a film, there are bound to be catfights et al. How was the 'atmosphere' on the sets of Rustom?
Actually, Esha Gupta and I did not have a lot of scenes together. Even though I have not seen much of her work, whatever I have seen of her work… she has done a tremendous job. Esha Gupta is a super cool person.
Besides Bollywood, you have been managing your career down south as well. What, according to you, is the basic difference between the Bollywood and the south film industry?
A lot of discipline prevails in the southern film industry.
Priyanka Chopra, your first ever co-star, has already set foot in Hollywood and has been extremely successful. Any plans if you going west?
I haven't planned anything till now, but I would love to. I am still figuring out the process.
What are your forthcoming films?
For now…. its Baadshaho.
On a lighter note, there are two things that we need your approval or denial: Firstly, do you call yourself as a 'professional bathroom singer'?
Yes I do. I have mastered the art of bathroom singing.
Secondly, do you have a strong desire for rasmalai, rasgullas and dark chocolate?
(A bit shocked). Who told you that! I have such a weak spot for them!
Lastly, cite reason/s as to why people should watch Rustom?
It is an incredibly intense love story. I want the audiences to watch it because it kind of gives you a prospective on marriage.