Ileana D’Cruz on her first shot in Telugu cinema: A shell was dropped on my belly in slow motion

Ileana D’Cruz says that when she started working, she was quite young and money was the biggest driving force.

bollywood Updated: Feb 19, 2018 13:28 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Ileana D'Cruz,Bollywood,Raid
Actor Ileana D’cruz says that when she was working in the Southern film industry, she didn’t know how films were made.

Having spent 11 years in showbiz, including six in Bollywood, actor Ileana D’Cruz has earned her due share of popularity. Starting off with Telugu cinema, she made it big in Bollywood in a short span of time. Looking back, the actor says the film industries are quite different in their aesthetics and the way they function.

“When I was working in south films, I never understood how films were made. In my first ever shot, there was a big shell that was dropped on my belly in slow motion. I even asked the director why we are doing it and he said it would look beautiful... and I wondered ‘Really? But why and how?’ So, each time it happened, I was told, ‘you’ve got a very attractive waist, it’ll look pretty and it’s very feminine’ but I truly didn’t understand it,” reveals Ileana, who has starred in Bolywood films such as Barfi! (2012), Main Tera Hero (2014) and Rustom (2016).

The actor adds that while filmmakers would always look at it as a form of “Indian women beauty”, for her, it was “just part of a shot”. She laughs, “I only thought of getting done with it fast. Though I was not necessarily always comfortable about the fact that there used to be lots and lots of shots around my waist, it was something that I dealt with. In Bollywood, at least, I don’t see that happening so much.”

Talking about Southern film industry’s obsession with navel, Ileana maintains that nothing much has changed even today. “You see similar things even now. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now either. I know people see it as objectification of women but I am not too sure if you can say in that aspect. Maybe, but this is how women are looked at — as a form of beauty, a form of art, and I suppose they get picked in a film in this particular way,” she says.

Ileana shares that at that time she was quite young and money was the biggest driving force. “I was only 18 at that time and interested in work. I was getting great offers [in South] with big actors and directors and it was all about money. It was only during my seventh film in South when I actually felt that I have to stop doing this,” says Ileana, adding that she had her priorities set from the word go when she entered Bollywood.

“I was very clear about what I wanted to do here and what I didn’t want to do. So, that also makes a difference and that’s why my career graph has been very different in Bollywood than what it has been in the South,” says the actor, who will next be seen in Raid opposite Ajay Devgn.

Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 15:38 IST