'I am very conservative'
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- Published 8.08.08
The Tollygunge studios have a stunning new import — German hotbod Claudia Ciesla! Yes, this 21-year-old — who would rather be complimented for her face than her body — is coming to scorch Calcutta this month. The supermodel who shot to fame by first going topless for a leading German magazine and then undergoing a test to prove that her breasts were natural not silicon, plays a foreign journalist in 28-year-old Arin Paul’s second film, 10:10. Claudia spoke to t2 over phone (through her agent-cum-interpreter) from Munich, where she is busy completing her visa formalities before embarking on her Calcutta adventure…
How would you describe Claudia Ciesla?
Funny, outgoing, natural, tasteful, sporty, truthful, interested in all that is new — culture, food, music…. and oh yes, I love animals.
How did you become a model, a singer and an actor? Which do you like best?
I started modelling when I was only 15. Former Playboy chief editor Stefan Gessulat discovered me when I was 17. I have done many modelling assignments since then for German and European magazines, including the famous German newspaper Bild. I was already singing in my hometown in Church chorus. I was one of the finalists at the international music festival Alppen Grand Prix in Merano, Italy, and have recorded a song with the successful producer from UK, Gordon Lorenz. I have also done several commercials and small roles in soaps.… But it’s difficult for me to say which I like best. I love singing and also acting; both are great.
Your debut film Karma: Crime, Passion, Reincarnation was screened at Cannes? What was the experience of working in the film and what kind of response did you get?
Yes it was screened in Cannes and was very successful worldwide. The producers and the director Shahjahan invited me and we had a great time there. I hope that my presence has helped to sell the film more! I learned a lot during the shooting of Karma and it was great to be with the cast and crew. The response was gigantic. It is due to this film that I had many offers from other producers in Cannes and also from Indian producers, which makes me very happy.
Why did you decide to do a Bengali film? How did things work out?
I got the offer from the producer (Neelkanth Production’s Sumit Dutta) and I liked the idea and the synopsis of the script 10:10. We were talking and discussing a lot and finally I decided to do this film. And I was told the Bengali kitchen is the best in India, which was also a big motivation for me!
What is your role in 10.10?
I am playing a young German journalist. I can’t reveal anything as I have a confidential clause with my producers.
Have you heard of your co-star Soumitra Chatterjee?
Unfortunately no, I haven’t heard anything about him.
Have you watched any Bollywood film?
Oh sure, I love watching Bollywood films. It’s very popular in Germany. We have a television channel here which airs Bollywood films every second. I can’t name any film, but I love all SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) films. I love the songs in his films too. SRK is a very big star here in Germany.
You’ve gone topless in Matador, but now you’ve gone on record saying no to such offers. Why?
Actually that was three years ago and it was for Matador only, which is a very elegant magazine in Germany. Besides, Stefan Gessulat had requested me to go topless for the magazine. I wanted to keep his request. Plus I did it only once and would never do it again. I am very conservative by nature and I am very religious too. It was just a one-time thing. I did it to become popular and would never do it again. Now people know who Claudia is.
What are your vital statistics?
My height is 5ft 9 inches, my bust is 38, waist 26 and hips 40.
Why was there so much talk about your breasts not being natural? Has that controversy ended once and for all?
After appearing topless in Matador, the picture generated big response from the readers. Some people claimed that my assets were fake and I had silicon implants. That enraged me to the extent that I challenged everyone and wanted to give them evidence against the allegation. So I allowed the most well-known surgeon to examine me and he declared that I had no surgeries done. It’s still very big news in Germany. People still talk about it!
Any other film offers from India?
Of course there are. I will fly back to India in October again. I have actually applied for a one-year visa to live in India. There are two films with Neelkanth Productions but I can’t disclose more.
What do you know about Calcutta? What do you plan to explore here?
Oh, I have heard a lot about Calcutta. Calcutta is very well known in Germany. It’s a wonderful city but I have also heard that there are lots of poor people in Calcutta but then I guess every big city has poor people, even America has them. I will be there for a month maybe. I have great interest in architecture and culture. The last time I was in India I went to Mumbai, Goa and Ooty. This time I would be exploring the eastern region. My producer has promised to take me around the city. Besides I am very keen to have Bengali food. I’ve heard their cuisine is very tasty and sweet.