Ileana D`Cruz

  • Actor

Nov 01, 1987  in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Also Known as: Illu

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With a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut - South in 2006 for her work in Devadasu to her credit, Ileana D`Cruz is one of Telugu cinema`s leading actresses, who is also actively associated with Bollywood. The model-turned-actress made her Bollywood debut alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Anurag Basu`s critically acclaimed Barfi! in 2012, which won her immense appreciation and several accolades.

Born in Pune, India to Ronaldo Leo, a lawyer, and a Samira, a homemaker, Ileana has three siblings - older sister Farrah, younger brother Rhys and youngest sister Eileen. After her family and she moved to Goa when she was 10 years old, Ileana completed her schooling in Goa and graduated from Bombay. She was noticed by the manager of the hotel her mother used to work for when she was in her early teens and pursued her mother to get Ileana into modeling. He also introduced her to model and grooming expert Marc Robinson, who set up her first portfolio shoot when Ileana was 16.

After her second portfolio shoot, Ileana began to grab the attention of ad filmmakers and she landed three advertisements for brands like Electrolux, Emami Talc, and Fair & Lovely. The ad for Fair & Lovely was shot by ace Bollywood director Rakesh Roshan, who helped her gain a lot more exposure, opening her doors to feature films.

Ileana D`Cruz has been in a relationship with Australian photographer Andrew Kneebone since about 2012. While the two have been living-in together for quite some time, no marriage announcements have been made.

She made her silver screen debut with the Telugu film Devadasu in 2006. Directed by Y.V.S Chowdary, the movie went on to be a super hit and Ileana received a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debutant South. The same year, she had four other releases - Pokiri, Kedi, Khatarnak, and Rakhi. Pokiri, which featured her opposite Mahesh Babu, went on to become a blockbuster hit, catapulting Ileana into instant stardom and making her one of the leading ladies in the South. With Kedi, she, along with Tamannaah Bhatia, marked her Tamil film debut opposite Ravi Krishna. The movie opened to positive reviews and was declared a commercial success.

Following the overwhelming response that she received in her debut year, Ileana cemented her position in the Telugu film industry and appeared in a string of commercially successful movies. Her performance in Trivikram Srinivas` 2008 action comedy Jalsa was appreciated by the audience and the critics alike and she received a Filmfare Award South nomination for Best Actress (Telugu). She was then cast opposite Ravi Teja in the action comedy Kick, which was remade in Tamil, Hindi, and Kannada as Thillalangadi, Kick, and Super Ranga respectively.

In 2012, she featured alongside an impressive ensemble cast in the coming-of-age Tamil movie Nanban, which released around Pongal in 925 screens across the world. It had one of the highest numbers of shows for a Tamil movie at that time and was also the first movie to release with French subtitles in France. It was very well-received by the critics and was also declared a box-office success. Reuniting with Trivikram Srinivas for the second time, Ileana was cast alongside Allu Arjun in the action thriller Julayi, which like her previous release was a runaway hit, releasing on 1600 screens across the globe.

The year 2012 is considered to be a turning point in Ileana`s career not only for the commercially successful movies that she was a part of down South but also because it marked her Bollywood debut with Anurag Basu`s romantic comedy-drama Barfi!. She was roped in to play the role of narrator and portray the character of Shruti Ghosh, a girl who leaves her true love for material comforts. The movie opened highly positive reviews from critics and was very well-received by the audience. One of Bollywood`s highest-grossing movies of 2012, Barfi! was also India`s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.

After her Bollywood debut, she featured in a string of Hindi movies such as Phata Poster Nikhla Hero, Main Tera Hero, and Happy Ending.

In 2016, she played the role of Cynthia Pavri in the period thriller Rustom, which is based on the real-life story of Naval Officer K. M. Nanavati. In her next Bollywood outing, she was cast alongside Arjun Kapoor, Athiya Shetty, and Anil Kapoor in the romantic comedy Mubarakan, which released across 2350 screens in India and was appreciated by the critics and audience alike. Set in the emergency era of 1975-77, Ileana`s next venture Baadshaho, a period heist action thriller, featured her opposite Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. Ileana`s first project of 2018 saw her reuniting with Ajay Devgn in the period crime drama Raid, which is based on the biggest IT raid that was conducted by the Indian Revenue Services in the 1980s. Her other releases include Amar Akbar Anthony and Pagalpanti.