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    “The woman I play in RED is MOST me” – Celina Jaitley

    [Interview by Joginder Tuteja]
    Tuesday, February 20, 2007
    Celina Jaitley certainly knows what she is talking. After a brief lull in her career progress, she hit back hard with 3 back to back successes – NO ENTRY, TOM DICK AND HARRY and APNA SAPNA MONEY MONEY. After making a mark in comedy, she is now attempting to combine her glamorous persona with serious yet entertaining cinema that goes by the name of RED. Here she talks to Joginder Tuteja about what RED means to her in real life and how she identifies with the color and its meaning in totality.

    What’s the essence of ‘Red’?

    A lot. See, if you have to put an emotion into color chances are high that most would say it pertains to red. You could be angry or you could be in a passionate mood, the color that would describe it best would be red. In fact even surveys prove that red what comes at the top of the list of asked when one is asked about his/her favorite color. Also my personal favorite is red as it depicts the feeling of love.

    You just mentioned ‘survey’. Have you also done your own bit of research on it?

    You are right. The other day I was speaking to a 19 year old female cousin of mine in Delhi and asked her what did she associate most of her emotions with and to my amazement she said ‘red’. For her, this was what love and passion was all about. But then why just love? I even asked my brother who is army and posted in J&K that what did he feel when he killed the first terrorist and the answer was, as you would have guess rightly by now, ‘red’. So you know, it may all sound so crazy, but then this is reality.

    So how does your character turn ‘red’ in RED?

    I play the character of a young woman who has a dark side to her. She is passionate, she is angry about something, she has a lot of love in her and last but not the least, there are some hidden secrets about her that bring a little mystery to her persona. Now all of this combined together made me believe that this character was just me, the real me! I said to myself that this is a kind of serious yet intense role that I want to play because though I love comedy, enjoy dancing around and play a typical Bollywood heroine-heroine kind of role, it’s a character like this in RED that makes me gives lot more of myself. This is what I would call the MOST ME!

    One hears you were quite impressed with your director Vikram Bhatt.

    If you meet him, you would find that he is such a great analyst about human emotions, what we do in life and especially faces. He would look at your face and tell you exactly what you are thinking.

    Did it ever happen with you?

    Of course it did. Once I was on the sets and he out of nowhere he asked me, “Celina, are you shy?” Now it was truly shocking because with someone like me who comes from Miss India/Miss Universe background and has been known for her glamorous image, no one associates a trait of shyness. But at that time, he was bang on since I was actually quite shy about something. So despite an entire confident persona I carry, he could just read my face and tell me exactly what I was thinking.

    Now moving away from RED a little. You have enjoyed a hat trick of comedy successes in recent times – NO ENTRY, TOM DICK AND HARRY and APNA SAPNA MONEY MONEY. Does that make you aspire to be the next comedy queen?

    [Laughs] Well, the ultimate would be to do the kind of work and scale the heights as Sridevi. I just don’t want to do good comedy, I want to do much more and be called as a good actor. Somehow after watching me holding a violin in the middle of water in ‘Janasheen’, people didn’t take me too seriously.

    Are you hurt?

    I was, though now I am relatively at peace with myself. See, anyways an actor’s job is thankless. You can please some but still there could be 10000 people who are against you. For me to survive in this industry itself has been so tough. There has been no backing, no Godfathers to support me. I have made me strictly on my own without being associated with any camps or people who could peg me for awards. I am a girl from a simple army background who is out here to make a career.

    So what should one expect from RED while venturing into a theater?

    Expect a kind of cinema that breaks away from “typecast Bollywood”! There is a newer and a younger approach to shooting this film and that’s something which is visible in all departments whether it is cinematography, sound, settings, pace etc. This is a new attempt but it is not parallel cinema. This is serious cinema but very commercial in the end. You are sure to get your money’s worth after you come out of watching the film.

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