However, just like any other actor who, despite all the fame and adulation, craves for one film which showcases his/her acting talent to the fullest, even Celina was no different. She patiently waited for that day to arrive when she would be the central protagonist in a dramatic affair that would revolve around her. Accident on Hill Road turned out to be one such film which, as the title suggests, is a gritty dramatic thriller where Celina has managed to make people sit up and notice her act that required her to go way beyond the sexy image that she has built for herself and instead showcase the new facet of her persona. On the eve of the film's release, she chats with us, explains her stance of working in diverse films and her long term goal to be Number One actress in the country one day.
With the kind of emerging market for small yet effective films, is Accident On Hill Road just the right kind of film for you?
Absolutely, this is just the right film and it is arriving at just the right time. In fact I do believe that if it would have come when I had just started my acting career, I may not have been able to do complete justice to it. For this film, I had to not just drain myself emotionally but also go through some physical stress. For starters, I had to chop off my hair. Then I had to also put on some weight to go with the character. I guess the experience that I have gained as an actor over the years helped me portray this real tough character.
So has this turned out to be THE film of your career?
I won't quite say that since I am still young and the good thing is that my whole career is not residing on Accident On Hill Road. But yes, as an actor I am proud of being a part of noir cinema. All these years, the only categorisation has been around commercial and parallel cinema. However, now even noir cinema has emerged. I am glad that such films are being made today.
You just mentioned that you had to cut your hair short for the film. Wasn't it heartbreaking? Why didn't you just go ahead and wear a wig?
(Laughs) That would have meant looking like an alien. You know, when you have very long hair and then go on to wear a short wig, you have to pull all your hair back. It leads to a very funny sight and your head suddenly starts looking like a 'matka'. Since it was a quick schedule, I thought it would be better to cut my hair and give myself the right kind of look for the character.
The film is said to be based on a true story. So what kind of study did you have to do for it?
More than studying for the part, I had to apply myself well and be subtle rather than going over the top. The script also facilitated this since the film belongs to the kind of genre where characters have to underplay their part. For example in a film like No Entry and Golmaal Returns, I could just play myself since the screenplay and dialogues were written in such a manner. Also, I had to be careful about not over acting because the moment you do that, it all starts looking slapstick. In a similar fashion, I played completely real and identifiable character in Accident On Hill Road.
So where does all of this leave the sexy and glamorous Celina? One hopes that she is not left behind...
Absolutely not. The glam part of me will always be alive. It's just that as an actor I have reached the point where I can afford to diversify a little and do a movie like Accident.... Every actor should now and then dabble in a film belonging to this genre because the world also needs reality.
So after being in the industry for a little over half a decade, do you think that you have got your due?
See, I am doing good work, I am seeing some good appreciation coming my way and I am also getting paid well. I guess this is good enough considering the fact that I don't have parents from the industry and I have learnt everything entirely on my own and grown myself.
Any regrets from the past?
No, because I don't look at the past any more. I make a plan for myself and then I achieve it. I have strived for appreciation, I am working on gaining more of it and I am sure there would be a lot of it in future. My main appreciation is my fans and worldwide following and that can only come from the kind of work that you have done over a period of time. I am here to be Number One and I feel that one day, I would be able to achieve that.
This is one 'accident' that Celina was waiting for to take place. Being in the industry for 6 years now, she has played a leading lady in close to dozen odd films. Though she may have played an integral part in some of her major films like No Entry, Jaanasheen and Red, she has also enjoyed good success in comic affairs like Golmaal Returns and Tom Dick and Harry.