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Who said 'Sexy' begins with 'S'? Though she's now one of cinema's busiest actresses, Celina Jaitley is not about quantity. Inhabiting her characters rather than simply 'Being A Star', she's become the equal of such recent luminaries as Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta and, yes, Kareena Kapoor. Outside of her home nation, particularly in Egypt, she's the 'hot' favourite. It's pouring cats and dogs outside Celina's house in Mumbai. Luckily, I got there in time and just in time for the hot tea which arrives for me the moment I sit on the sofa taking out my recorder. The actress is all excited and ready to return back to the comedy genre after her recent debacle Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. And for a change, Golmaal Returns is looking like it's going to give her more in return than her previous film. In this exclusive interview our correspondent meets Miss Jaitley and gets her talking on Golmaal Returns, Shreyas Talpade, Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, her de-glam look in the film, and yes, her intelligence. Didn't I say, 'Sexy' begins with 'C'?
In your film career so far, you've been a part of seven comic capers. What made you sign your eight - Golmaal Returns?
I did Golmaal Returns because I loved the prequel Golmaal and somehow I wanted to do a movie which would have the capability to become as big as a No Entry. The role I portray in Golmaal Returns was offered to me only because my director Rohit Shetty was confident that I could play a de-glam girl in the film compared to all other heroines who are present. I play a South Indian woman who is called Mira Nair. She comes from a very strict Brahmin family. I was looking forward for a role like that because I am fed up of doing glamorous roles. There is much more to me than just being a barbie on screen.
But in a highly male dominated film, do you think you will be noticed?
Yes, Golmaal Returns is a male dominated film but it's also a story. As an actor, I believe that all actors make up a story. Even with one of the character's missing, the story can take a bad turn. So, I always see to it that a particular role suits my image. Here I was going to be seen in a new avatar. Secondly, this is a role which the children are going to love and thirdly I wanted to work with Rohit Shetty. Then it was my first time with Ajay Devgan. It was an amazing experience. It was also my second time with Shreyas Talpade who plays my co-star in Golmaal Returns. Then I worked with Kareena Kapoor for the first time and it is always nice to be working with someone who is your senior and who knows much more about the film industry. After all, she comes from a practically a historical film family. It was a great experience for me overall and there was so much I learnt from it.
You've mentioned in all your interviews that Red is your best film till date. Any change of opinion after you've done Golmaal Returns?
Yes, Red will always be my most serious and the best performance till date. Comedy is a totally different genre all together. Golmaal Returns is a full on commercial film. If you've enjoyed No Entry, you'll love Golmaal Returns. As far as Red is concerned, it will always be one of those roles which I will remember my entire life.
Did the entire cast and crew miss the presence of Sharman Joshi who was in the prequel Golmaal?
With Shreyas Talpade coming in the picture, no body is going to remember Sharman Joshi. Shreyas is a brilliant actor and I don't need to prove that. We all know him for Iqbal, Dor and Om Shanti Om. He is very versatile and he can play any given role with a lot of belief.
Did you have to go through any South Indian tuitions or training classes for your role?
(laughs) Golmaal Returns cinematographer was fondly called Nutty, short for Natarajan. Me and Shreyas used to go to him and ask him, "Agar Bachao bolna hai to kaise bolna hai?" (laughs). So I was the one who was using the maximum South Indian words. Even though I was a girl born and brought up in Mumbai, you still have a tendency to use your Bengali, South Indian or a Gujarati language at home. Credit should go to Nutty Sir for bearing me throughout Golmaal Returns.
So how is the de-glam Celina attired in the film?
Very simple, with kurta's, jeans and jholas and of course, the South Indian saree and the ghaghra - choli which many wear down south. I am also wearing black contact lenses which were ordered for me especially from London. Practically no make up for me except the kaajal. My character took a real turn when I and Shreyas were filming this engagement scene in the hotel where I was wearing the lehenga with gajra and a choti. A typical South Indian look. We had some aunts and uncles too in the scene. But some of the people from the hotel misunderstood us as the South Indian family. It was hilarious.
We hear that the premiere of the film is to take place in Dubai. Any idea?
No. I haven't heard of it.
If it does happen in Dubai, do you think it's a good idea?
Honestly, it's ok to premiere it anywhere in the world because now-a-days you'll find Indians in abundance everywhere. Golmaal is such a film which will not only be loved by the Indians but all the Asian community as well. We've got a huge fan following in the Middle East too.
Where would you like the premiere to happen?
If it was in my hands, I'd have the premiere in the U.K. Whenever I have gone to the U.K, I've been loved and cared the most, whether it's my personal trip or to promote my films. I love U.K and my best friend, Tanuj, lives there.
With you being paired opposite Shreyas, are we going to see you with any of the other co-actor in the film?
Yes. For a change, Golmaal Returns is not cliched. I've got many scenes with Ajay Devgan in the film. It was interesting working with him because I've been a big fan of his since I saw Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. He is a very intense actor. He is my favourite romantic hero too.
Tell us a bit about the unexplored side of the funny bunch of actors in the film.
Tusshar Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade are the most fun co-stars I've worked with till date. Three of us get along like a house on fire. We'd start laughing in the morning and after pack up we stop. We keep on sending messages to each other talking nonsense all day long. It is fun.
Why would people return to watch Golmaal Returns this time around?
Honestly, leave your mind at home, brains at home. Come with an open heart with full entertainment. Laugh a lot and go back home and then again if you feel watching it twice, come back or should I say - Return? You will see the lightest side of the most complex situations that people are put into in Golmaal Returns. It's not slapstick, it's situational.
This time around, are we going to see the scene continue from where it was left in Golmaal one where Ajay and Arshad do a spoof on the film Black?
(laughs) How did you come to know about this? But yes, the most famous 'Black' scene is there in part two too and I am somewhere there in it. We started shooting that scene on the same day of the Press conference we had for unveiling the first look of Golmaal Returns. That same day at 11pm, we started and finished it at 7am the next day. In fact, you will see Black and Red too (laughs). Don't worry, Red is just me being silly.
I've heard that there are two songs which are the most expensive songs shot in Indian cinema in Golmaal Returns. Is it true or just to market the film?
It is true. Yes, 'Tha Kar Ke' is expensive with hundreds of extras acting in it and real cars being blown up. Rohit hasn't used any toy car or any props. But there is this other song shot between me and Ajay Devgan where I play the man's role and he plays the woman and how I hold him by his legs and he revolves round and round on the deck of the ship. The glimpses of which are seen in the promo. Actually, it is the funniest song shot in the history of Indian cinema. People are going to fall off their chairs watching it (laughs). I am all in a gown but playing a man (laughs).
We also got to know that you suffered an eye infection during the shooting of Golmaal Returns?
Yes. I did have an eye infection once and because of that I could not attend three major press events at the beginning of the promotional schedule. So a lot of people said that I was being excluded from the film and said all sorts of things like there was a competition going on between Kareena and Celina, etc. So this is a misunderstanding I'd like to clear.
You're a brand ambassador for the Egypt Tourism. Do you then recommend directors to go and shoot their films in the beautiful country?
Of course yes. Recently, there was a song from Singh Is King which was shot in front of the beautiful pyramids. We did a lot of publicity for the tourism back in Egypt and in India. Egypt is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Let's not forget the famous love story of Cleopatra and Ceasar which took place in Egypt. I was still in two minds whether I should take this opportunity to be an ambassador or not and then I realised that I was a mountain girl. I was born and brought up around the mountains of India and so to be in the middle of the desert was exciting. If I was in a relationship, I would've gone to Egypt for my romantic holiday. People think that the pyramids are gorgeous but for me the river Nile is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I went on a cruise through the river and I felt that I was travelling back in time and history.
This is your first film with your producers Shree Ashtavinayak. How was the entire experience?
It's one of the best production houses I've worked with. I've been very lucky because so far I've worked with the best of the lot. They know what they are doing and that's a good thing about these producers. You don't go through any troubles and they look after you very well. Having said that, they spoil you sometimes. Whatever the director requires it's there for him because they think for the betterment of the entire film. So the final product is always lavish and good.
Do you think that Golmaal Returns is the apt title for the second part?
Yes, because the first part Golmaal was a hit. Everybody knew Golmaal and the title track of the film. So when you're trying to create the same magic for the similar star cast with the same kind of story continuing, I think nothing could be better than adding 'returns' to the first name.
Tell us about one of the famous Mithun Chakraborty song you sang and fell down laughing.
(laughs) We were singing 'Zoobie Zoobie Zoobie' from the film Dance Dance. And Shreyas and Tusshar also joined in the act. It's one of our all time favourite songs. We sang the song all the way to Thailand and back. Imagine us three dancing to the song (laughs).
Are you aware of the fact that the media counts you as one of the most intelligent actresses around after Lara Dutta?
Me and Lara are best of friends. So it's good to know that. I don't know what makes me intelligent. I just speak my mind and if you think that's intelligent then be it. Me and Lara come from a very strong third and fourth generation of military background, and I guess that outspokenness and holding oneself together and some mannerisms play a vital role. But in today's day and age, you want to speak your mind out without being abusive and rude and that's intelligence for me.
Why go and watch Golmaal Returns this Diwali?
Because if you'd like to spend your money on your entertainment, go and spend it on Golmaal Returns.