Actress Ileana D’Cruz says there was a time when she would sign a film without thinking about it.
The 30-year-old actor has worked in more than 15 films in her six year-long career in South India, before making a debut in the Hindi film industry with Barfi! in 2012.
“I keep joking, I was the Akshay Kumar of [the] South. I used to do four films a year. He does good films, but some films of mine were good, some weren’t. I was just signing films. There wasn’t this thing of ‘wanting to do good work’,” D’Cruz said.
The Mubarakan actor says she eventually decided to get focussed.
“I told myself, this is never really going to last for a long time, [it’s] about time I start doing good work. Then I put my head into it completely. I had no idea about the South film industry and how it worked,” she said.
“When I was offered a film there, I thought how would I do it, I don’t even speak the language. When I started doing it, I was like anyway people won’t watch my film even if I do bad in it. It was a very stupid, carefree and careless attitude that I had,” D’Cruz added.
D’Cruz says she was approached for Bollywood films long before Barfi! hit theatres but she wasn’t prepared at the time.
“If I had done a Bollywood film, which has far more exposure than the South ones even though they get released worldwide, I would have made a fool of myself,” she said.
“I was actually going to back out of Barfi! as well, because I wasn’t sure. I took three months to sign it. There was something about the story. I don’t know if I will ever get to do a story like this. I decided on a whim to do it,” she said.
D’Cruz was also offered Salman Khan’s Wanted — a film whose Telugu original Pokiri featured her in the female lead — but the actor chose to appear for her exams over the movie.
“I was actually going to do it. I was happy that my first film would be with Salman. I remember I had exams on back then. So when Boney [Kapoor] sir asked me to do the photo shoot, I was like ‘I am sorry, I have exams on. I can’t.’ I didn’t think I handled it well back then because I didn’t understand the gravity of the offer. For me, it was all about finishing my exams,” she said.