By Durga Chakravarty
She has always put her guard up when it comes to her personal life. Actor Ileana D'Cruz, who is dating photographer Andrew Kneebone and even referred to him as "hubby" in a social media post, says she does not want her private space to be a part of "rubbish gossip columns".
"It is very sacred to me," Ileana told IANS about her personal life.
"I do not want it to be served on a platter in a gossip column. I don't want it to be part of this gossip section in the newspaper. It's a very important, sacred part of my life -- and it means a lot to me."
The Raid actor, who, in an Instagram post, addressed Kneebone as "best hubby ever", said that there are many layers to her personal life and "people will end up reading so many skewed versions of it if I talk about it".
"It is what it is, and you get to see a little snippet of it on social media."
Ileana has, however, been vocal about her struggle with body dysmorphic disorder for 15 years.
"I am not ashamed of it. When you are ashamed of a certain thing, then it is hard to talk about. For me, what would bother me the most is the fact that I would not want people to see me in that state.
"When you are dealing with depression, it hits you when you are least expecting it. For me, to be in that state... it was something hard... I think that is what people are shy about, because they don't want to be seen in that light and I can completely relate to it," Ileana said.
The actor, 30, believes that speaking about such issues can help others who do not reach out for medical help.
Ileana, who began her Bollywood journey with Barfi!, was most recently seen in Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid.
She says it was important for her to show "there's a lot more to me than just the girl-next-door image" that people associate her with.
"I just want to choose characters that are different. And from the choices I have made so far, directors have been coming up to me with very nice, nuanced characters. In fact... I am finding it very hard to make a choice."
Ileana affirmed that female actors are now looked upon as the hero of a film and not just as a tool of glamour.
"It is because of all the lovely ladies who have taken those risks and played roles.. which have paved the way for other filmmakers to go, 'We can actually rely on a woman to carry a film'. I think it's brilliant."
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)