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Ileana D'Cruz

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Ileana D'Cruz
D'Cruz in 2018
Born (1986-11-01) 1 November 1986 (age 37)
Citizenship
  • Indian (until 2014)
  • Portuguese
    (from 2014)
OccupationActress
Years active2006–present
Spouse
Michael Dolan
(m. 2023)
Children1
AwardsFull List

Ileana D'Cruz (born 1 November 1986) is an Indian-born Portuguese actress who primarily appears in Telugu, Hindi, and Tamil language films. Born in Mumbai, she spent most of her childhood in Goa. D'Cruz is a recipient of several accolades including a Filmfare Award and a Filmfare Awards South.

D'Cruz made her screen debut in 2006 with the Telugu-language romantic-drama film Devadasu, a commercial success, which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut - South.[1] D'Cruz established herself as a leading actress in Telugu cinema with successful films including Pokiri (2006), Rakhi (2006), Munna (2007), Jalsa (2008), Kick (2009) and Julayi (2012). D'Cruz received Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu nomination for Pokiri, Jalsa and Kick.[2] She then made her debut in Tamil cinema with Kedi (2006) and starred in Shankar's Nanban (2012), a commercial success.[3]

D'Cruz expanded to Hindi cinema in 2012 with Anurag Basu's comedy-drama Barfi!, for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.[4] She has since played the leading lady in the successful films such as Main Tera Hero (2014), Rustom (2016), and Raid (2018).[5]

In addition to her acting career, D'Cruz is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products. D'Cruz is married to Michael Dolan, with whom she has a son.[4]

Early and personal life

[edit]

Ileana D'Cruz was born to a Catholic father and Muslim mother in Mahim, Bombay (now Mumbai) on 1 November 1986.[6][7][8] She is an atheist.[9] Her family moved to Parra, Goa when she was 10 years old.[10]

Her first modelling portfolio was created in January 2003, and D'Cruz called it a "disaster". Subsequent photo shoots and ramp shows led to a second portfolio the following year, which landed her advertisements from Electrolux, Emami Talc and Fair & Lovely. The latter, in particular, which was directed by Rakesh Roshan, gave her exposure and brought in several offers for acting in feature films.[11]

D'Cruz acquired Portuguese nationality in 2014.[12] In an interview with Verve in 2017, she claimed that Portugal was a part of her ancestry.[13]

She was in a relationship with Australian photographer Andrew Kneebone. It was rumoured that they had already married.[14] On 28 August 2019, Indian media aired the news that the couple had broken up.[15]

D'Cruz married Michael Dolan in May 2023 and welcomed their first child, a son, in August 2023.[16]

Career

[edit]

Debut and early roles (2005–2006)

[edit]
D'Cruz during her early career

In 2005, D'Cruz was called for an audition by director Teja, but the project was cancelled.[17] She made her feature film debut in the Telugu language romance film Devadasu (2006), directed by Y. V. S. Chowdary. She underwent acting classes with Aruna Bhikshu, before starting to work on the film. She recalls that during filming she felt "pressured ... almost cried and didn't want to go further", but went ahead after her mother encouraged her, giving her "the lecture of a lifetime [...] at 3 am."[18] A review from Indiaglitz stated that she "has chiseled features and a figure to die-for."[19] Devadasu became the year's first commercially successful Telugu film, eventually grossing around 140 million,[20] whilst earning D'Cruz the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debutant.[21] She next appeared in the gangster film Pokiri in which she portrayed an aerobics teacher, who is harassed by a corrupt police officer.[22] The film was a high financial success, emerging as the highest-grossing Telugu film at the time.[23]

She made her Tamil-language film debut in Kedi (2006) opposite Tamannaah Bhatia and Ravi Krishna.

Breakthrough and establishment in Telugu cinema (2007–2011)

[edit]

She received favourable reviews for her performance as Satya, a college student who is on the run from the home minister's crooked son by whom she is targeted, when leading a protest and demanding punishment for his crimes.[24] In 2008, she performed the female lead role in the action film Jalsa, directed by Trivikram Srinivas. D'Cruz received largely positive remarks, with critics citing that she looked "pretty",[25] "damn cool",[26] and "every bit chic and stunning throughout the film",[27] while being later awarded the Santosham Award, one of five awards for Jalsa,[28] and the South Scope Style Award, besides garnering a nomination for the Best Actress – Telugu at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. Her first 2009 release, titled Kick, was likewise declared a box office success,[29][30] becoming one of the highest-grossing films that year.[31]

Later that year she starred in the films Rechipo and Y. V. S. Choudary's Saleem both of which performed poorly at the box office.[32]

Ileana D'Cruz at LFW

D'Cruz had 2 releases in 2011. Her first film that year was Shakthi, where she essayed the lead female role. She gave a stage performance for this movie's audio release function along with Jr. NTR, as part as promotion of the film. The socio-fantasy film, the costliest Telugu film ever made at 250,000,000.[33] Her next release was Nenu Naa Rakshasi, which marked her second collaboration with Puri Jagannadh. Though the film was a failure, her performance was received positively by critics; an Indiaglitz reviewer described her as a "pleasant surprise in the film" as she "cried, smirked, looked hot, grabbed sympathy and made faces that were apt to the scenes",[34] while cinegoer's reviewer cited that the film had "one bright spot, Ileana, she looks stunning and also like an accomplished senior to the hero."[35] Despite her recent failures, D'Cruz continued to be the highest-paid actress in South India.[36]

Expansion to Hindi films and success (2012–2017)

[edit]

In early 2012, she starred in the Tamil film Nanban directed by S. Shankar, a remake of the 2009 Hindi film 3 Idiots. The film opened to high positive reviews from critics praising the performance. It became a major financial success, grossing 400 million (US$4.8 million) at the box office on its first week.[3] Her next release was the action comedy Julayi, written and directed by Trivikram Srinivas. D'cruz was featured as Madhu opposite Allu Arjun. The film opened to positive reviews and became the third biggest hit in 2012 and biggest hit in Telugu.[37] She then starred in Puri Jagannadh's comedy Devudu Chesina Manushulu. In this film she played the role of a taxi driver.[38] The film received mixed reviews and eventually under-performed at the box office.[39]

D'Cruz made her Hindi debut with Anurag Basu's Barfi![40] In addition to playing the role of the narrator, she portrayed the character of Shruti Ghosh, a girl who leaves her true love for material comforts. The movie released on 14 September 2012,[41] to highly positive reviews from critics,[42] and was a major commercial success, earning 1.75 billion (US$21 million) worldwide.[43] D'Cruz's performance was well received, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, as well as a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Rachit Gupta from Filmfare said "This is Ileana's first film but her fantastic performance is just a testament why the Telugu audience consider her a superstar. Of course it also helps that she is the most visually appealing in Barfi! out shining even the scenic hills of Darjeeling".[44] Rajeev Masand stated "Ileana leaves a lasting impression in her Hindi film debut, conveying both love and pain through those beautiful, expressive eyes".[45] The film was screened at the Busan International Film Festival,[46] Marrakech International Film Festival[47] and was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards.[48]

She next appeared in the Rajkumar Santoshi action comedy film Phata Poster Nikhla Hero opposite Shahid Kapoor. The film released on 20 September 2013 to mixed reviews, and the film was eventually declared a poor grosser at the box office. However, D'Cruz received mixed reviews for her performance, with the Times of India saying that she was "good with emotions but not so tuned into comedy yet."[49] In April 2014 she gave a photo shoot for the magazine Man's World.[50] Her first release of 2014 was coming-of-age romantic action comedy film Main Tera Hero, a remake of the Telugu film Kandireega, which was produced by Balaji Motion Pictures and directed by David Dhawan. Featured alongside Varun Dhawan and Nargis Fakhri, she played a role of Sunaina Goradia. The film released to mixed reviews from critics, though it became a box office success. She then appeared in Saif Ali Khan's maiden production Happy Ending where she played lead along Saif Ali Khan, Govinda and Kalki Koechlin which released on 21 November 2014. The film met with negative reviews and underperformed at the box office.[51]

After taking a sabbatical,[52] in February 2016 she started Akshay Kumar's Rustom which released in August 2016.[53] The film emerged as the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of 2016, collecting more than 2 billion at the box office. D'Cruz played Cynthia Pavri, a character based on Sylvia Nanavati, opposite Akshay Kumar.[54][55] Anna MM Vetticad noted, "Illeana D’Cruz looks stunning in the film and does a decent job, but her characterisation is troubling."[56] While, Rachit Gupta of Filmfare stated, "D’Cruz manages to outshine bad make-up and look pretty. Her character is relegated to just beauty and tears of remorse."[57]

Ajay Devgn and Ileana D'Cruz during trailer launch of their film Baadshaho (2017)

In 2017, D'Cruz first played Sweety, a talkative Punjabi girl in Mubarakan, opposite Arjun Kapoor.[58] Saibal Chatterjee opined, "Mubarakan gives Ileana far more space than other actresses and she makes the most of the opportunity."[59] In the same year, she played a princess, Gitanjali Devi in Baadshaho opposite Ajay Devgn. Kriti Tulsiani found her performance to be "superficial and unconvincing".[60][61] Both the films failed to find an audience at the box office.[62][63]

Raid and further career (2018–present)

[edit]

D'Cruz's first release of 2018 Raid, opened to positive critical and commercial feedback.[64] She played Malini, an income tax officer's wife opposite Ajay Devgn.[65] After six years hiatus, she signed a Telugu film Amar Akbar Anthony starring opposite her frequent co-star Ravi Teja.[66][67][68] Released amid good expectations the film opened with negative reviews[69] and failed at the box office.[70]

In 2019, she appeared in Pagalpanti, a comedy film by Anees Bazmee, opposite John Abraham.[71] Priyanka Sinha Jha of News18 stated, "Ileana D’Cruz looks beautiful but has precious little to do."[72] In 2021, she played a Journalist in The Big Bull, a biographical crime film, alongside Abhishek Bachchan.[73] Ronak Kotecha from Times of India noted, "Ileana D’Cruz as the journalist puts up an honest performance."[74]

Post a hiatus of three years, D'Cruz returned to films in 2024, with Unfair & Lovely opposite Randeep Hooda, playing a dark-skin girl.[75][76] In the same year, she played an emerging actress opposite Pratik Gandhi, in Do Aur Do Pyaar.[77] Anuj Kumar of The Hindu found her to be an "absolute delight".[78]

Other work and public image

[edit]
D'cruz in 2017

D'Cruz has established herself as one of the leading actor of the Telugu and Hindi cinema.[6] Vogue said that she is a "well-recognised name" in the South Indian film industry.[79] Taran Adarsh termed her "super efficient".[80] Verve noted, "D'Cruz makes the unreal seem believable on celluloid".[81] She stood at the 18th place on Forbes India's most influential stars on Instagram in South cinema for the year 2021.[82] She was widely praised for her Hindi film debut Barfi!. She was placed 2nd in Times of India's 10 Most Promising Female Newcomers of 2012 list.[83] In 2012, Rediff.com placed her in their listing of the top 10 Bollywood actresses, where she ranked 8th.[84] D'Cruz has been suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. She has been vocal about her body image issues.[85]

In addition to her acting career, D'Cruz is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products including Clear Shampoo with Virat Kohli and CavinKare with Akshay Kumar.[86][87] She is also the brand ambassador of Tourism Fiji.[88] D'Cruz has subsequently appeared on Times' Most Desirable Women list, she was placed 20th in 2011 and 21st in 2013.[89] D'Cruz has been associated with a number of causes. She has donated her clothes and accessories to raise money for renovating an animal hospital in Mumbai in 2013.[90] She has walked the ramp for "Smile Foundation", to lend her support for girls education. In 2016, D'Cruz attended a charity event for the underpriviliged kids.[91][92]

Filmography

[edit]

Films

[edit]
Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role(s) Language(s) Notes Ref.
2006 Devadasu Bhanu Telugu
Pokiri Shruti
Kedi Aarthi Tamil
Khatarnak Nakshatra Telugu
Rakhi Tripura
2007 Munna Nidhi
Aata Sathya
2008 Jalsa Bhagyamathi "Bhagi"
Bhale Dongalu Jyothi
2009 Kick Naina
Rechipo Krishna Veni
Saleem Satyavathi
2010 Huduga Hudugi Herself Kannada Special appearance in the song "Ileana" [93]
2011 Shakti Aishwarya Telugu
Nenu Naa Rakshasi Meenakshi / Shravya[a]
2012 Nanban Ria Santhanam Tamil
Julayi Madhu Telugu
Devudu Chesina Manushulu Ileana
Barfi! Shruti Ghosh Sengupta Hindi [94]
2013 Phata Poster Nikhla Hero Kajal Sharma
2014 Main Tera Hero Sunaina Goradia [95]
Happy Ending Aanchal Reddy
2016 Rustom Cynthia Pavri [96]
2017 Mubarakan Supreet "Sweety" Gill
Baadshaho Rani Gitanjali Devi
2018 Raid Malini Patnaik
Amar Akbar Anthony Aishwarya / Pooja / Teresa[a] Telugu
2019 Pagalpanti Sanjana Paul Hindi
2021 The Big Bull Meera Rao [97]
2024 Tera Kya Hoga Lovely Lovely Singh [98]
Do Aur Do Pyaar Nora [99][100]

Music videos

[edit]
Year Title Singer(s) Ref.
2017 Pehli Dafa Atif Aslam [101]
2022 Ooo Ooo Qaran
2023 Sab Gazab Goldkartz, Badshah [102][103]

Accolades

[edit]

D'Cruz has received a Filmfare Award and a Filmfare Awards South each. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South for Devadasu and Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for Barfi![104][105]

Notes

[edit]
  1. ^ a b D'Cruz played a single character with two or more names

References

[edit]
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