Ileana D Cruz was born in Mumbai, and was brought up partly in Mumbai and partly in Goa.Her first name comes from Greek mythology, meaning Helen of Troy. Her family relocated to Parra, Goa when she was 10 years old. Her mother tongue is Konkani.
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.