Here's Proof Annie Live! Star Celina Smith Is Destined for Greatness

By Allison Crist Oct 06, 2021 8:24 PMTags

E! News' Nina Parker put it best: Celina Smith, the 12-year-old actress set to play the titular role in NBC's Annie Live!, is "gonna be a big star, honey!"

Celina joined Nina and co-host Justin Sylvester on Wednesday, Oct. 6's Daily Pop, hinting at what's to come for the live rendition of the beloved 1977 musical, which tells the story of an orphan taken in by a New York City billionaire.

First thing's first though—how did Celina react to scoring the part?

"I was bouncing off the walls, I kid you not," Celina recalled. "Like, you could've sworn there was a kangaroo in the house or something. It was amazing and it was probably one of the best moments of my entire life."

After getting the good news, Celina experienced yet another exciting moment when she met her co-star, Taraji P. Henson.

"She's so funny," Celina said of the Empire alum, who will play the not-so-nice Miss Hannigan. "She's literally hilarious. Oh my gosh, I love her so much."

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Celina revealed that she also recently met Tituss Burgess, who's set to portray Miss Hannigan's equally mean brother Rooster. To say she was nervous would be a major understatement.

"I was a wreck," she recalled on Daily Pop. "I met him and words were not coming out of my mouth!"


The actors will all reunite when Annie Live! begins rehearsals soon, but until then, Celina's eager to brainstorm ways to make the role of Annie her own.

Her sense of style will "almost definitely" be a factor, but she also wants to keep the current climate in mind. 

"It's 2021, and everything that happened last year…it was crazy." Celina explained. "So, I feel like all the emotions that were going on, I can kind of apply that, just because of the message of Annie. You know, it brings hope and just a sense of happiness."

Hear more from Celina Smith in the above Daily Pop clip! Annie Live! will air on NBC Dec. 2.