Janna Nick wants to expand her acting portfolio. The actress was barely out of her teens when she shot to fame in 2015 after starring in romantic dramas Syurga Nur and Kau Aku Kita.
Since then, a slew of romance dramas followed, but Janna is looking at changing things up. She recently traded her girl-next-door persona to play a villain in her film debut, Kimchi Untuk Awak.
“I didn’t put a lot of hope on Kimchi Untuk Awak as I didn’t appear in a lot of scenes. So I was surprised to hear all the positive feedback,” Janna, 22, says at a press event in Kuala Lumpur.
“Even though I had a small role, I managed to make an impact on viewers. That’s what I want as an actress.”
Janna, who is of Malay, Chinese and Pakistani descent, says she would like to explore more antagonist roles in the future. She would also like to challenge her acting skills by playing characters with physical disabilities.
The actress is no stranger when it comes to trying new things; she ventured into singing with the release of the single, Mungkin Saja, early last year.
Her latest project, telemovie Bo Bajet, speaks of her commitment to building a varied body of work yet again.
Viewers get to see Janna in a different light in the action-heavy role, Inspektor Siti.
The 90-minute action-comedy – which is set in the 1980s – sees the tomboyish policewoman (Janna) visiting her boyfriend’s (Saharul Ridzwan) hometown for the weekend.
Since her arrival, some mysterious events have taken place and a few of the townspeople got hurt in the process. She is determined to find out what is going on while trying to look like the perfect housewife in front of her prospective mother-in-law (Noryati Taib).
“I did about 90% of the film’s stunts,” Janna reveals. “It’s a big part of me. I actually did a lot of taekwondo as a kid and earned a red belt. I even represented my school in taekwondo.”
Janna adds that her background in taekwondo came in handy during fight scenes.
Bo Bajet director Bak Chee Hong was impressed with Janna’s willingness and dedication to do her own stunts. However, he shares that he was worried for her safety.
“‘Don’t climb so high up’ I would often tell her. ‘I’m scared you might fall down’,” he says.
The telemovie is executive-produced by Chiu Keng Guan, the director known for his box-office successes The Journey and OlaBola. Why is it titled Bo Bajet (which means “no budget” in Hokkien)?
“From the looks of the special effects on this film, you might think it was created with a big budget,” Chiu shares in a press statement.
“We actually worked with a limited budget. This really tested the crew and the cast members’ ability to deliver a product that did not compromise on its quality.”
While the exact price tag for the production was not disclosed, the telemovie was made with a budget roughly the amount of a TV drama.
The telemovie reunites Janna with her former Kau Aku Kita co-star Saharul. The actress says Bo Bajet is in a way a gift to fans of the popular drama series, who have been missing their on-screen pairing.
She doesn’t have any projects with Saharul anytime soon though, but hints at the possibility of acting together again next year.
Bo Bajet will be available on April 27 on Astro First Eksklusif (Ch 480) or Astro On Demand for RM15.90.