‘Good roles, good films reserved for people who belong to a camp, come from a film family’: Celina Jaitly

Celina Jaitly says most of the meaty parts and good projects are reserved for people who either belong to a camp or come from a film family.
Celina Jaitly during her Miss India days.
Celina Jaitly during her Miss India days.
Updated on Jul 04, 2020 07:08 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRuchi Kaushal

Celina Jaitly has said she had earlier distanced herself from films for the sake of personal growth as the refusal of filmmakers to give her a chance to showcase her acting talent pushed her to shift her attention to the other aspects of life. The actor recently made her acting comeback with Season’s Greetings, which revolves around a mother-daughter relationship.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Celina shared how an outsider has comparatively lesser opportunities in Bollywood as compared to those with contacts. On being enquired about how outsiders fare in Hindi film industry, Celina said, “That is the reason why I left cinema. You can only try that hard to convince people to cast you. Most of the meaty parts, good roles and good films are reserved for people who have privileges, who either belong to a camp or come from a film family. When you are an outsider, you can try to push and do your best, but then comes a certain limit when you can’t do that anymore. So you have a choice to succumb to the bullying of people and not getting the right offers until you start believing that you are a failure. Or you move on in life and do other things. You recharge, rejuvenate, regenerate and come back again.”

Watch: Celina Jaitly on comeback, depression, & personal, professional struggles 

Celina reveals she realized early that filmmakers only saw her in the roles of a ‘prop’ and refused to give her meatier roles. “For me, it was all about personal growth. What’s the use if I am not happy doing something and if I am feeling that I am constantly being put down and pushed into a corner. I don’t have many allies whom I can turn to for support. You can only go to people but then you’re constantly turned away. You have an option of doing cinema where you are just a prop. I didn’t want to continue being a prop, there is a lot more to me as a performer. If I am required to be a mannequin or a prop as a performer, I am happy to do that but if you just want to make sure that your screen looks good then I don’t want to do that anymore.”

She goes on to add, “If you want a script, people have a problem giving you the script. They say, ‘apne aap ko bahut bada actor samajhti hai (she considers herself to be a big actor). I started facing it after the first few years of my career because no actor has a success graph which goes all the way up, especially us women.” 

Celina also confirmed that not just opportunities, even failures has a different meaning for outsiders in Bollywood. Sharing her part of story amid the ongoing nepotism debate, the actor says, “If a big star’s son or daughter comes on board and even if the first 5 films are complete flops at box office, they continue to work with the best of directors, scriptwriters, best of amenities, makeup, with the best of everything. And in your next film, the benefits that you get of the best designers or directors, it depends on how your last film does. God forbid that last film was not a success, you never get a chance again.”

Celina stepped into modelling at the age of 15 and had her fair share of time in front of the camera. Her Miss India tag landed her debut, Janasheen. She went on to star in quite a few masala entertainers until she was tired of doing the same roles over and over again. “Everything was all glitz and glam, but few films down the line, I realized that I don’t want to be a mannequin on screen anymore,” she says.

“I am an army officer’s daughter, for me to give up and run away, that’s not going to happen. There has always been a lot more to me than just being an actress,” She adds.

Also read: Celina Jaitly on quitting films: ‘I was just tired of how difficult it kept getting for an outsider’


Claiming that better opportunities are reserved for a particular set of people, Celina says, “You realize that you have a talent and you need the right platform and need to work with the right people. When you start going to these people, they turn a blind eye to you. They do not give you that opportunity because those opportunities in our industry are reserved for a privileged few only. You do that again and again and people try to tell you that you are not good enough. You reach a point where you can actually succumb to that.”

“…or you continue growing in all aspects of life which was my personal way of dealing with this. Coming from an army background, I don’t give up that easily. My way of dealing with this was to take a break to do other things in life,” adds the actor who opted for the second option.

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Monday, June 27, 2022