Like many of her colleagues from Southern cinema, actress Ileana D'Cruz intends to move to Mumbai after making a successful Bollywood debut with "Barfi!", and work towards building a career in Hindi cinema.
"I am planning to move to Mumbai very soon, probably in the next couple of months," said the actress.
"This is why I haven't signed anything new in the South. I made a decision not to sign anything while working on 'Barfi!'. Now that it's out I will be in Mumbai to build a career here. I am in the process of buying a place. The hunt is on. I realize I'd have to divide my time between the South and Mumbai," she added.
She is also working on brushing up her Hindi. "I am learning (Hindi). I've dubbed my own lines in 'Barfi!'. But I don't yet converse in Hindi. I need to build up the confidence to do so."
However, despite the success, Ileana is adamant she won't stop working down South.
"A lot of people in the South are wondering if I will say goodbye to Telugu cinema. But I really don't think that's possible. I am really proud to be part of Telugu and now Hindi cinema," said the 24-year-old, who is known to be the highest paid Southern actress.
"The two kinds of cinema are so diverse culturally and yet part of a unified, popular cultural experience that's Indian cinema. I've so much fun doing Telugu cinema. They're so colourful and so much fun," she added.
As far as the kinds of films are concerned, Ileana says she'd play it by the ear.
"I'll take it as it comes. Whether Hindi or Telugu, I'd do the films that I connect with. Like I had this amazing gut-feeling about 'Barfi!'," she added.
Ileana is winning accolades for her unconventional portrayal of a saree-clad Bengali woman, who sacrifices her love for Ranbir's character in "Barfi!".
"Honestly I wasn't looking for something so unconventional for my Bollywood debut. I'd have settled for something far more conventional and glamorous. But then everybody takes that glamorous route," she said.
"I just went with my instincts. When I heard the script of 'Barfi!' I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to pull off the role. To play this Bengali woman was quite a change of image from what I'm seen wearing and doing in my Telugu films.
"It was quite a cultural change. Very frankly I undertook no preparation. I asked my director Anurag Basu if he wanted me to seek out reference points for how to play my character. But we just went with what Anurag instructed me to do. I'd say my character Shruti was hard to put across. I am glad people have liked me," she added.
Meanwhile, Ileana is in talks for more Hindi films. She is contract-bound to do one more film with UTV, but free to work with whoever she chooses.
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