For Ileana D’Cruz, this pandemic has had a ripple effect on her personal as well as her professional life. While she became hungry as an artiste, the actor also realised the value of spending time with her family.
“The pandemic (last year) was a bit hard only because I was away from my family. Losing a member of my family who was so close to me hit me very hard. It made it especially harder because I was away from them all,” she admits.
She says she doesn’t ever want to feel that she didn’t prioritise time with her family. “So now I try and spend most of my time with them and I made a point to spend a little more time over Christmas and New Years for sure,” adds the actor.
When it comes to her professional goals, D’Cruz feels she is constantly evolving. “I miss work and while spending time with my family was wonderful, I am hungry to get back to work and get back on set soon and do some more unusual challenging work,” confesses the 34-year-old, who was last seen in film, The Big Bull, co-starring Abhishek Bachchan.
Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, she shot Unfair & Lovely with Randeep Hooda. Looking back at her experience of working through a crisis, she says, “I was initially quite worried before going on set, for obvious reasons. The pandemic was initially scary and it was a very uncertain phase. So, I had my reservations but the producers were incredibly accommodating. They ensured and assured me that every precaution would be taken and everyone would be safe.”
Though it took a little while for D’Cruz to get settled, after being back with the rest of the crew and seeing how careful everybody was, “everything just flowed really well and the shoot in fact was an absolute breeze. I was sad when it was over”.
Amid all this, one thing the actor isn’t compromising on is her mental health, which helps her stay calm.
“I keep a check on my mental health as much as I can. Its something always at the back of my head. And I’m glad that mental health is being talked about far more than it used to be,” says the actor, adding that she still thinks there needs to be a more constructive way of addressing it.
“I’m no expert on the subject but I feel there should be probably a school curriculum where it’s compulsory to prioritise mental health. If parents and students and children alike are educated right from the beginning, it can help a lot more because awareness is the first part of solving the problem,” she points out.