Exclusive Feature: Eva Celia

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT. Though music and acting are already in her blood, this doesn’t mean that things always come easily for Eva Celia. She tells Gabriela Yosefina about her breakthrough project and moving back homeExclusive Feature Eva Celia 5

Outfit by Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

Young and beautiful Eva Celia is full of passionate excitement. The 21-year-old girl has just returned from a trip to Tanjung Bira, a beach destination in Makassar, Indonesia. Her sun-kissed skin a tell-tale sign of an enjoyable getaway, her relentless energy remains throughout the entire conversation. Every time the word “traveling” is uttered by this multi-talented young woman, her eyes sparkle. “I’ve been to Komodo Island, West Sumba, several places in Thailand, and recently, Tanjung Bira. By the time I am 26, I hope to have already traveled across most of Indonesia,” she says. “Traveling makes me appreciate what I have and what my country has. During my travels, I always witness how people with limited access to water, electricity and entertainment live their lives. I see that they are happy with what they have, which is a lot less than what we have,” Celia reflects. “And I love that the movie I’ve been working on, ‘Pendekar Tongkat Emas’ (The Golden Cane Warrior), has allowed me to travel so much. It has been a dream come true.”

“At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing to me: to be comfortable in my own skin”

 

Born into a family of artists, perhaps Celia was destined to be in the entertainment industry; however, the stardom she has achieved rightfully belongs to her. Her father, Indra Lesmana, is a famous jazz musician, who frequently makes appearances at international music festivals. While her mother, Sophia Latjuba, is a household name—an actress and a model whose star continues to shine decades after the peak of her career. And it is in her latest movie “Pendekar Tongkat Emas” that Celia believes she has found the stepping stone that will hopefully seed her as an established actress. “I have poured so much heart into this project. I was the youngest on set and was always working with very experienced actors, which I did find daunting at times. However, I think it is because of this situation that I was able to learn and grow so much from this project.” It is worth noting that Celia even gave up her education, deciding not to return to Los Angeles, United States, for the new semester so that she could work on this particular movie. Though she may just be starting out in her career, she is an artist who knows what she wants and “rarely takes no for an answer.”

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Outfit by Michael by Michael Kors

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Dress By Diane von Furstenberg, Shoes By Saint Laurent

“I knew this opportunity would not knock twice,” she explains. “I sacrificed my music to commit myself to the project, simply because I knew it was the right thing to do. I can still remember exactly how badly I wanted it.” It was at this point that Celia would face opposition from those that she respects the most—her parents. “I did have many difficult arguments with my parents about the decision, but I’m so glad that I held my ground because right now, I could not be happier,” she confides with a smile. Yet in terms of the training required for this action drama movie, Celia freely admits that it didn’t come naturally. “I have had to do quite a lot of physical training to prepare for the role. Though I enjoyed it, I am so stiff! It came to a point where I had to up my game and work on becoming more limber, because there was no other choice. Fortunately though, this happened pretty smoothly in the end and being on an immensely breathtaking set in Sumba definitely made it easier!”

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Sweater by Michael by Michael Kors

However, now that she has wrapped the movie,  Celia finds that she can’t deny her other passion—music. Though she confesses that her relationship with music is a challenging one, mostly because of her “perfectionist nature.” She confides, “It has taken me a long time to finally feel comfortable with my own voice, because I used to believe that I wasn’t good enough. I have always been my own worst critic. Sometimes I used to write something and then stop, because I didn’t like it. But now I’ve learned to always finish my work and also to become more explorative, to just let it happen.” Coming from a creative family, she is also under no illusions about the importance of her upbringing in making her the artist she is today. “I feel so lucky to have always been surrounded by such artistic and passionate people,” the petite actress and singer answers lightly, when asked about her childhood. “My family, they are the best. My mum, for instance, questioned me when I said I wanted studying psychology, which meant I would’ve had less time to spend on my music. She said, ‘Are you sure? Because you sing more than you talk!’ Then there is my dad, my uncles, my aunts and my cousins who are all very involved in the creative industry. They are my support system, but at the same time, I do feel some pressure to create something that is of the same caliber as what they do.”

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Dress By Diane von Furstenberg

According to Celia, the pressure also comes from outside her family, that “being in the business is a battle to be true to yourself, especially when people tell you what you are supposed to look and sound like.” Nonetheless, she is a “big believer in following one’s heart” and has developed a thicker skin to handle such pressures from the world outside. Such a resilient attitude explains a lot about why she is where she is right now, and nowhere else. “I made such a good decision when I decided to move back to Jakarta. Though Los Angeles is an amazing place with so many opportunities, I couldn’t help but constantly miss my family and my friends. Now, I’m happier with where I am and who I am, than I’ve ever been. And at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing to me: to be comfortable in my own skin.”

“I feel so lucky to have always been surrounded by such artistic and passionate people”

 

WATCH THE VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENE WITH EVA CELIA

Photographer: Nurulita
Stylist: Peter Zewet
Styling Assistant: Triska Putri
Makeup and Hairdo: Yuceu Wiliasih (Utje)
Videography & Editing: Dimas Anggakara
Styling Intern: Yovana Elita