First Jeannie of Indian TV

First Jeannie of Indian TV

That is an old chapter now. I want to let it remain in the past and move on,” retorts Gia Manek, the popular ex-bahu of Saathiya, on being asked about her exit from the well-known serial and her claim to fame.

Metrolife caught the actress in a candid chat in between shots, of her new show Jeannie aur Juju, which has just begun telecast on Sab TV.

Giving the matter a second thought, Gia opens up, “I had problem with the production house. I can’t work in an environment where even after working for 10-12 hours, I don’t get respect from the production house!” But having quit the show now, the actress feels, “Even after Saathiya is over for me, the Lord’s hand is on my head and that is the reason I was offered Jeannie aur Juju. It is only because of Kanhaji (as her character Gopi refers to Him in the serial) that the producers thought that I would be able to do justice to this role otherwise producers are scared to experiment.”

As they say, with great opportunity comes greater responsibility. “It is a bigger responsibility for me to prove myself this time round. Being an actor, one has to be versatile and come out of one’s comfort zone. In that sense, I am lucky to have bagged this show,” says Gia and compares her new avatar with the old one, “Gopi was an adorable character but she hardly gets to speak any dialogue whereas Jeannie doesn’t stop talking! By the way, I am playing the first jeannie on Indian television, so this role is all the more special.”

Her chemistry with comedian Ali Asgar has being appreciated but the actress was extremely nervous initially. “He is so experienced and I am just 2-3 year old in the industry so I had a lot of questions before I began working with him. But I realised, Ali is very professsional and has no airs. Infact there are times when he gives me tips and we gel very well.”

Is this her dream role? “Dream role was Gopi, and now it is Jeannie,” she says and shares, “When people recognise me as Gopi I reciprocate with a smile. It is a big compliment because there is tough competition on television today. If my show becomes popular and my character gets noticed above others, it is a huge compliment.”

What about working in films? “Nothing happens by planning or thinking, so I haven’t thought about films. I never thought I will not be a part of Saathiya even when the show is on air so life is unpredictable.” What she is sure of is her dream co-star, “ When I was a 6-year old, I saw Salman Khan and told my mother I want to do a film opposite him. Only I knew how serious I was!”

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