Ileana calls the shots

sitting pretty Ileana eyes new territory

sitting pretty Ileana eyes new territory  

N ot often does Ileana perform on stage and when she did for the first time at the Shakti audio release function recently, the crowd went berserk. She reeled off a few words in Telugu nervously but spontaneously and surprised herself.

Ileana has completed five years in Telugu cinema and continues to be numero uno. “Getting there isn't difficult but hanging on definitely is,” says the Goan beauty.

She was fortunate to taste success quite early in her career, but faced embarrassing disasters too at the box office. She says choosing the right script and doing the right role became quite a task and especially for someone who came from a non-filmi background with no godfather. The language was a challenge and not a gamble. But Ileana's been more talked about for her hourglass figure and delicate features. She feels that glamorous heroines shouldn't be taken lightly and they do contribute significantly to the film. In her case she always questioned herself before signing a project, “If I were to minus my role, would the film still work; would the film be incomplete without me?” Competition from younger crop doesn't bother her. “The industry is a big place, and if one is consistent and contributes something unique, carry off style with panache and attitude, then there is no place for heartburn,” she says.

All in her genes

The gentle and articulate lady must be quite fatigued of the continuous stream of compliments from fans and strangers on her figure but she knows she cannot take it for granted. She adds, “I thank my genes; yet I work out for an hour every alternate day, try to eat healthy and stay fit.”

Recently Ileana was in the news for drawing the highest ever remuneration amongst heroines and making unreasonable demands from the producers. She replies with a cool confidence that she charges what she deserves and feels that if the remuneration is not much of a bother to the producer, he wouldn't be taking her at all. Happy and content that she has made her place here, Ileana is debuting in Bollywood with a film opposite Ranbir Kapoor. But isn't it a late entry? She informs that she was offered roles early in her career but none have been as interesting as the ones in Telugu. Ileana says she will never do item numbers and rubbishes the talk of doing one in Kannada. “There was a song written on me and revolving around my name, I just make an appearance as an actress.”

Coming up

Her current films are Three Idiots with Shankar, Barfee with Ranbir Kapoor, Shakti and Nenu Na Rakshasi are waiting to be released.

Her mother Samira had worked hard on perfecting her looks in Shakti. Recently she launched her mother's boutique ‘Ileana' at inorbit mall. On Nenu Na Rakshasi, she reveals that she doesn't have a role that is chirpy or bubbly but something beautifully scripted which has pushed her to the limits. She describes the film's director Puri Jagan as a ‘Star's director'.

Ask Ileana if it's true that a street facing her home in Goa is called Ileana's Street, she guffaws. “Our folks have termed it. The road is on the way to my house. Guzaarish was shot there, remember the scene in which Hrithik and Aishwarya are seated in a car, the latter smokes and a lot of coconut trees around, that's on the way to my place.”

Getting to the number one position isn't difficult but hanging on definitely is.

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