Ileana D'Cruz is an Indian film actress, who predominantly appears in Telugu movies. 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 Tollywood's 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 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.
D'Cruz made her Hindi debut with Anurag Basu's Barfi! In addition to playing the role of the narrator, she portrayed the character of Shruti Ghosh, a girl who leaves her true love for material comforts. The movie released on 14 September 2012, to highly positive reviews from critics, and was a major commercial success, earning INR1.75 billion (US$28 million) worldwide. D'Cruz's performance was well received, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, as well as a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Rachit Gupta from Filmfare said "This is Ileana’s first film but her fantastic performance is just a testament why the Telugu audience consider her a superstar. Of course it also helps that she is the most visually appealing in Barfi! out shining even the scenic hills of Darjeeling". Rajeev Masand stated "Ileana leaves a lasting impression in her Hindi film debut, conveying both love and pain through those beautiful, expressive eyes". The film was screened at the Busan International Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival and was chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards.