Ileana D’Cruz (born 1 November 1987) is an Indian film actress, who predominantly appears in Telugu and Hindi films. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South for the 2006 Telugu film Devadasu. She has appeared in films like Pokiri (2006), Jalsa (2008), Kick (2009), and Julayi (2012), establishing herself as one of Telugu cinema leading actresses. D’Cruz made her Kollywood debut with Kedi and made a comeback in Shankar’s Nanban (2012). In 2012, she made her Bollywood debut with Anurag Basu’s critically and commercially successful Barfi!, for which she received critical appreciation and the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
In 2005, D’Cruz was called for an audition by director Teja, but the project was cancelled.She instead made her feature film debut in the Telugu language romance film Devadasu (2006), directed by Y. V. S. Chowdhary. 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.”A review from Indiaglitz stated that she “has chiseled features and a figure to die-for.”Devadasu became the year’s first major commercial success, eventually grossing around ₹140 million, whilst earning D’Cruz the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debutant.She next appeared in the gangster film Pokiri in which she portrayed an aerobics teacher, who is harassed by a corrupt police officer.The film was a high financial success, emerging as the highest-grossing Telugu film at the time.
In early 2012, she starred in the Kollywood film Nanban, a remake of the 2009 Hindi film 3 Idiots directed by S. Shankar. The film opened to critical acclaim and became a major financial success. Her next release was the Telugu film Julai. The film opened to positive reviews and became the third biggest hit in 2012 and biggest hit in Telugu.She then starred in Puri Jagannadh’s comedy Devudu Chesina Manushulu. In this film she played the role of a taxi driver.The film received mixed reviews and eventually under-performed at the box office.