The Ultimate ‘Jaan’ of the Party! In conversation with Jana Malik

Talented, lively, and downright amazing, Jana Malik is a sensation whose energy is infectious. You can’t help but get completely absorbed in her amazing outlook on life and why she thinks it’s so great.
An exceptional actress who also happens to be a delightful pastry chef, running her online bakery @bakesbyjana with impeccable strides-Social Diary had a ball while conversing with the fascinating star. Here’s all that we talked about:

SD: Share some information about your childhood with our readers?
Jana: I would say I have always been an avid book reader.In my childhood I would read murder, mystery, action and even thriller, even something which would depict assassination attempts and heroic rescues. I never was a mushy reader- would stay away from romantic titles. My treat when getting good marks in my examinations would be my mom taking me to a bookstore and would let me marvel into the range of titles for 2 hours straight. I would also be a part of kids calendar shoots and I do remember being able to keep the clothes afterwards. I also had some interesting cooking incidents from those early days!
SD: What attracted you towards the entertainment industry?
Jana: For me it always seemed to be the true calling from the start as both my grandparents- maternal and paternal were in showbiz since before the partition. It was never like I had to walk out of my comfort zone.
My paternal grandfather used to produce movies and he had one of the largest studios in Asia, having even state of the art editing systems and sound systems of that time. My maternal grandfather also had plenty of theatres all over Pakistan, showcasing even Indian films by buying the distribution rights. For me, it’s something that was meant to be. I had learned the terms and absorbed the craft from a very young age.
SD: Were there any setbacks you had to face?
Jana: Alhumdulilah God has been very kind. I didn’t face many setbacks. I have always received endless love and support from my fans every step of the way. I would always pay attention to detail for every character I took on. Small gestures, voice notes, dialogue delivery- all these points help to make every role I took poignant. I alhumdulilah never faced any gender or ethnic discrimination either.
SD: What remains one of your favorite drama series you acted in?
Jana: Almost all of them. This is because they were all tough to take on and I am always up for challenges.
I remember how once we went to Mahodand Lake for a shoot. And we went with plastic tents and the sheer cold made it impossible to sleep but then we enjoyed the challenges and the outcome. I particularly enjoyed being a part of Bulandi, Ibn-e-Adam, and definitely Kis Din Mera Viyah Howay Ga’- I love doing comedies and giving a reason for a person to smile and laugh.
SD: Any special incident that happened during one of your shootings?
Jana: There are so many special incidents that always take place on sets. A recent one took place during the shoot of ‘Nagin’. We would have these live cobras on set within their baskets. I used to have a python around my neck and we kind of formed a friendship. We once had a long -track shot from left to right. However, during the shot, we realized that instead of 3, there were just two cobras and it created such a panic and frenzy. So definitely, it is always happening on the sets.
SD: How do you choose your roles?
Jana: First and foremost, for me it is the director. I need to know the vision and agenda behind making that serial. Does the director wish to focus on the monetary gain or highlight some major social aspect within the society? Also, the scripts matter, like the drama serial I did called ‘Marzi’- the way each dialogue was written, you could tell the drama had so much depth and meaning. So, for me a good script and through whom that script is directed matters a lot.
SD: Is there an actor or director you wish to work with?
Jana: I’ve been in this industry for so long but I had gotten to work with Humayun Saeed just once on a telefilm. Despite having worked in his production house, I would love to have more screen space with him. Other than that, it’s exciting to see new talent emerging, young actors with quality movie and film courses from abroad. They are bringing a whole new perspective and vision to the industry. I am also excited how web series is going to turn the tables for us.
SD: How do you think the entertainment industry has progressed through the years?
Jana: I would say the entertainment industry hasprogressed far, despite not getting adequate help. It’s a very important medium to get the message across, whether it’s about society, laws, views, humanity etc. Sadly, we didn’t get much of a technological nudge to develop our equipment use, like having duty free shipment. I feel having government-funded projects to highlight important stories will make a major impact and difference. Like having support to create serials highlighting the wheat crisis we went through. We are story tellers; I know we can make amazing plays that highlight real-time issues and crisis.
SD: How did the pandemic affect your work and plans last year?
Jana: It definitely put a delay in my plans. I have been focusing on my culinary education for the past three years and the finals were delayed for that matter though I managed to get a distinction in my written. However, my priorities have changed. The list I was holding onto as being my ultimate goal has been upgraded to being grateful and realizing how fortunate we are to speak to and hold onto loved ones who are healthy. Willpower over a clueless situation has put things into perspective. I am coming to know how we will be answerable to our limited time in this world, how are we to leave our legacy by going above and beyond the materialistic agenda.
SD: What do you look forward to this year?
Jana: I am definitely looking forward to a working and effective vaccine. I am just hoping that we can get rid of the virus completely and can once again breathe freely without the need of face masks.
SD: Any projects you are currently working on?
Jana: Actually, I am not involved in anything where I need to take my mask off. I was offered a few projects which I had to let go. Work will continue but I’m just waiting out the pandemic crisis. Also, I am immensely enjoying my work involving my online bakery.
SD: Your word of advice to those who wish to enter the entertainment field?
Jana: Be prepared for sleepless nights. You have to invest endless hours to make your mark. You have to take on harsh conditions to step out of your comfort zone to keep it going. Pay attention to the craft and skill. Hence, I would say practice-be it your dialogue delivery, your tempo, tone, expressions. The sincerity of the emotions you play in the character would make a major difference. You need to be well-read and well-versed to know how this skill is being mastered by the professionals; it helps you to make the characters believable. You need to work on your outer and inner delivery too.

In a Glance:

Favourite Actress:
Hania. I just love how adorable she is
Favorite Drama:
Diriliş: Ertuğrul
Favorite Holiday Destination:
Anywhere that has tropical weather like sandy beaches with a bit of adventure
Traditional Wear or Western Apparel:
Both. It just has to be loose and comfortable
One thing people don’t know about you:
I think they know me very well. Although they probably weren’t aware of my love for cooking. Also, once the pandemic settles, I do hope to start my commercial outlets and get into the business side of it all.
The biggest regret in life:
I don’t have any regrets in life alhumdulilah. All my experiences have been very important. They have allowed me to grow spiritually and develop empathy and become passionate. I strongly believe we have plans and Allah has plans, and surely, He knows best.
One thing you can’t live without:
Tea. I love it. And yes, I love French fries. I can’t name one without the other.
Morning Person or Night Owl:
I’m not a morning person; it’s so very hard.
Three things we’ll find in your bag:
Hand sanitizer, lip balm and my wallet
One person you look up to:
I try to find admirable traits in any person I meet.With my online bakery, I am fortunate to know and learn of the life and perspective of different people. It’s quite interesting.
If you weren’t an actress, you would have been a …
Definitely a chef! Food brings joy and celebration. My friend advised how I actually got into the cooking course at the right time.


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