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Celina Smith talks about starring as Annie in ‘Annie Live’ on NBC

Young actress Celina Smith chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about starring as Annie in “Annie Live” on NBC and being an actress in the digital age.

Celina Smith
Celina Smith. Photo Credit: Royal Binion, NBC
Celina Smith. Photo Credit: Royal Binion, NBC

Young actress Celina Smith chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about starring as Annie in “Annie Live” on NBC and being an actress in the digital age.

On starring as Annie in “Annie Live” on NBC, she said, “It’s nothing that I ever expected, but it’s a huge opportunity to spread a message of hope. I’m super excited to spread that message and to work with such an iconic cast – they’re all so amazing. It’s just so exciting.” 

When asked what she enjoyed most about this experience, she responded, “Starting a new chapter! I’m grateful to start a new chapter in my experience in the industry – starting with Lion King, then Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan, and now ‘Annie Live.’ Yeah, I am blessed.” 

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, she said, “I mean I’m 12, I don’t really know. I guess maybe if I think about it, it just seems normal, an everyday thing. Social media has been around my whole life so … yeah. Maybe it makes getting recognition easier. You can post a video on TikTok  or FaceBook or Instagram and become famous.”

For young and aspiring actors, she said, “Take your time, enjoy the process, and don’t rush it – because if you rush it, you won’t enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed!”

Regarding her dream acting partners, she revealed, “Will Smith, its always been a dream of mine to work with actors like Will Smith – and other actors like Marsai Martin. I did say Taraji P. Henson before but now I’m working with her…so yeah! Huge blessing.”

On her definition of the word success, she responded, “I don’t know. I mean, again I’m 12. I haven’t reached that peak of success yet. There’s a bunch more stuff that I want to be able to do before, I don’t know… 30! But success in my words is just enjoying what you do. You know, that’s success enough in my opinion – just to be happy doing what you do.”

She concluded about “Annie Live,” “It’s a little bit more 2020 yet still 1933. It’s just so timeless and relatable. When we did the read-through there was so much that we could connect to 2021 What’s the one thing you want them to get out of it? Hope and excitement. So much hard work went into it and I just want them to enjoy it.”

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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