Article Hindi

Ileana D’Cruz on 5 years of Barfi!: Felt nobody will look at me as Priyanka, Ranbir were so awesome

The actress, who made her Hindi film debut alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in Barfi!, speaks about why the film is most special for her.

Suparna Thombare

Anurag Basu's Barfi!, which was released on 14 September 2012, is one of the more loved films of the decade as it narrates an innocent love story between two characters with special needs, backed by beautiful music composed by Pritam Chakraborty (who won his first Filmfare award for Best Music for this film).

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While the film had Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra giving arguably their best performances, it also marked the Hindi film debut of Ileana D'Cruz. The actress, who had already worked in several films down South, wasn't initially sure if Barfi! would be the ideal launchpad for her. 

Well, director Anurag Basu managed to convince D'Cruz to finally take on the part of Shruti, who plays the narrator of the film in parts and witnesses the love story of the deaf-mute Barfi (Kapoor) and autistic Jhilmil (Chopra) unfold. 

It was once she began shooting for the film, though, that D'Cruz realized this was going to be something special. "I cried on the last day of Barfi!'s shooting," recalled the actress who was most recently seen in Baadshaho (2017) with Ajay Devgn and Emran Hashmi. "I didn’t want to let go of Barfi! because it was that special a film. I didn’t realize how special it was till I started filming for it. It was a film that I loved as a story."

But after the cast-and-crew screening of Barfi!, a few days before its theatrical release, D'Cruz wasn't sure if she would be received well by audiences, especially since she felt that Kapoor and Chopra's performances would overshadow hers.

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"The first time I watched it I cried like a baby. One because I was like PC and Ranbir are so awesome in it that no one’s going to look at me. And two, because it was such a beautiful story. Firstly, it's my first [Hindi] film; nobody’s going to look at me. And damn it, when they [Chopra and Kapoor] did this in the film, I was like nobody’s going to see me. They are just going to think I am this bitch, who left [Barfi]," she confessed.

When reminded that Shruti did have a moment of redemption in the end when she helps Barfi reunite with Jhilmil even when she had the chance to walk away into the sunset with the hero, she said, “Kind of. There was a beauty about being selfless in this film.”

D'Cruz added that the film will stay close to her heart. "I cried while performing every emotional scene. Barfi! is incredibly close to me. It’s a film that will stay with me, I know that for sure."