Prithviraj's latest crime thriller 'Ranam – Detroit crossing' is counting success in the theatres. Young screenwriter Nirmal Sahadev's maiden directorial venture, 'Ranam' has a rich cast including Isha Talwar, Rahman, Nandu and Shyamaprasad. Barren outskirts of Detroit, its gangsters, comparison of the city's lost glory and Kerala's societal change over years set the movie apart from the many crime dramas that appeared in Mollywood recently.
Among a row of fresh actors who graced the movie, Celine Joseph, a 21-year-old Indian-American girl who played the role of Isha Talwar's daughter in the movie, impressed. Her character of Deepika, a distressed teenager of estranged parents, had her own reasons to behave waywardly. She delivered this character with subtle perfection.
Celine shares with Onmanorama, her journey with Ranam and her previous experiences in cinema and aspirations.
How did you join the crew of 'Ranam?'
The director of the movie Nirmal Sahadev is one of my good friends. He had organised several audition sessions to select his actors. One day, Nirmal called me and asked to attend one of his audition sessions. After all the sessions concluded, Nirmal gave me a call to inform me about my selection. That is how I joined the crew of 'Ranam'.
About your character in the movie...
Deepika is shown as Isha Talwar's daughter from her first marriage. There are several cliched stereotypes about youth raised in America. Most people think that children being raised in the US are spoiled because of wealth, accessibility to drugs and pampering families. Though Deepika is a rude teenager, she has her reasons to behave waywardly. She has a gang of friends who are all exposed to intoxicants. Her parents are long estranged from one another. She experiences high level of solitude and depression. In the course of the story, she dies. I could set my feet in the shoes of Deepika and emote that character with great empathy. I have seen girls like her around me. Deepika is one of the most real characters in this movie.
Do you have previous experiences in cinema?
Yes. I served as an assistant director to Jeethu Joseph for his movie 'Oozham' in 2016. That was a wonderful experience. I could understand the real efforts behind the making of a movie which we casually watch on screens. I also made a cameo appearance in that movie. 'Ranam''s Deepika is my maiden character role. I am thankful to Nirmal Sahadev for this opportunity.
I had won a beauty pageant organised by the Federation of Malayali Associations of America (FOMA) back in 2014. I was barely 17 back then. It was acclaimed Malayalam actor Mamta Mohandas who crowned me at the event.
About your academic background and family...
I am a student of BA Psychology. My family is from Edappally, Kochi, but I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My father Jimmy Joseph is a businessman and my mother Vini, a dentist. My younger brother Kevin is a student of 10th grade here.
How was your experience working with Prithviraj and Isha?
The scenes involving my character was shot in the initial modules of production. Co-actor called Mathew Arun and I were together in almost all scenes. Prithviraj is a very supportive senior. He helped us out with emoting some very crucial scenes. He attended the shoot schedules even if he didn't have any scene that day. There is a scene in which Arun's character forces Deepika to get intimate with him. It was due to Prithviraj's support that the scene could be executed as if it was natural. We used to hang out and watch movies as a team during free time.
Isha Talwar is a sweet person. She used to tease me calling 'beti' (daughter). I called her 'Mummyji' in return. Director Nirmal Sahadev also, with his sheer enthusiasm and energy, pumped up all the technicians and artists on the sets. We all had a very wonderful time during the production schedules.
I have been a movie-aspirant right from my childhood. I was equally drawn towards modeling and behavioural sciences. As I am good at studies, I don't want to neglect studies for cinema. I will complete my graduation within a year and will join a post-graduation programme.
I am looking forward to a stable movie career in Mollywood though I'm inclined towards American music and entertainment industry. My location need not adversely affect my movie career as Malayalam cinema has ditched geographical boundaries. I don't mind traveling between the US and Kerala for the sake of movies.
My long-term ambition is to become a filmmaker. I would like to master all aspects of filmmaking before I wear a director's hat. I know I have a long way to go before that. So I have decided to concentrate on acting for the time being.