Actress Janna Nick is running on four hours of sleep.
Over the past seven days, she has been spotted making appearances at several events. At this particular work commitment for HyppTV’s Ramadan programme showcase, Janna makes time for one more interview. Her manager reminds us that Janna has to leave soon for a 60-episode drama shoot, Dia.
Despite feeling tired, Janna welcomes her busy schedule. “Of course I have to be busy. I’ve got a house to pay for!” she shares with a laugh.
Back in April, Kedah-born Janna took to Instagram to share with fans that she has bought her first home. The 21-year-old actress, who first made her name through the tear-jerker TV series Syurga Nur in 2015, says it was a calculated decision.
“My financial advisor asked me to choose. Should I get a house now and start pushing myself to work for my commitments or just relax and enjoy the money. I chose to get the house. I told myself that it’s OK to work tirelessly at this age. I can take it easier when I’m older.”
Her hard work has also paid off with the recent Anugerah Bintang Popular win, where Janna pulled an upset over the likes of Neelofa and Ayda Jebat for Most Popular TV Actress.
“I had no idea that I would win. I honestly thought that it was Neelofa’s for the taking.”
She credits her fans for making this happen and reminds herself to not take the win for granted.
“When they announced it, I was grateful. I saw myself as a representative for my fan club when I accepted the award. But it’s not something on which I should rest my laurels or put myself in a comfort zone.”
Popularity, according to her, is anything but permanent. Janna is well aware that her fame could all go away in the blink of an eye.
“So I can’t be too complacent with how I am now. I don’t want to get lost in this ‘wave’. I need to prove that I deserve this fame by putting out quality work.”
She recently starred in romantic comedy Kimchi Untuk Awak and in the Chiu Keng Guan-produced TV action-comedy Bo Bajet.
She also appears in an episode of supernatural anthology series Cerita Dari Mastika. On her list of upcoming projects is Kerja Kahwin, a film directed by Anwardi Jamil which focuses on traditional Malay wedding culture.
During Hari Raya, viewers can catch her in the telemovie Menantu Material directed by Tam Suhaimi.
“I play Emilia. She expected her boyfriend to propose on her birthday but that didn’t happen. She was so upset that she decided to just give up on love. Then comes a point before her 27th birthday when her parents insist that she get married. Or else, she’d end up as a spinster.
“Apparently, it’s a family curse or something.”
From playing an emotionally-taxing character in Syurga Nur to a scheming ex-girlfriend in Kimchi Untuk Awak and taking on a comedic role in Menantu Material, Janna is up for something different all the time.
“After all, the whole point about acting is to not be yourself. I like the challenge that comes with portraying a character that is nothing like who I am in real life. I try to avoid doing the same type of roles.”
Janna is mentally prepared to face more challenges in her career, and losing sleep in the literal sense.
She is just as busy during Ramadan, and only has one week off during Raya. The last time she took a break, it was for a family holiday last year.
But, she’s not asking for anyone’s sympathy.
“I deserve to feel all these pressures – it’s part of my job. It’s the price I pay for wanting to be in this industry.
“When you work and get paid a lot, you can’t expect it to be easy. It’s as simple as that.”