Giaa Maanek has drawn a lot of appreciation for her character Gopi in Saathiya Saath Nibhaana. With her childlike smile and innocence, she has managed to become a household name; what with the show being the top ranking one across all GECs. Giaa has a candid chat with TellyChakkar. Excerpts from the interview…
Tell us a bit about your background.
I was studying when this offer came to me. I have completed my Majors in Advertising. Then I did a few commercials after which I was called for TV shows. I was not really serious then because I wanted to complete my education. I bagged a movie, makers of ‘Red Alert’ where I played daughter to Om Puri and Neena Gupta. That’s where the producers of Saathiya spotted me and I was called for an audition. I passed the audition, the look test and I bagged Gopi’s role.
Has it been smooth sailing?
No, you can’t say it was easy because I did struggle for some time. I was at home for a year after my graduation, had signed a couple of shows which for some reason did not work out. So it was not like I got everything at one go.
Are Giaa and Gopi similar?
In some ways, they are. I can cry at the drop of a hat like Gopi. Giaa loses her temper quickly unlike Gopi who is very calm and composed. Gopi is very sweet, innocent and dumb but I am not. She even knows how her sister is, her plans but she never goes against her. We both believe in family values. Just like Gopi, Giaa will do everything for her love. The major differences between Gopi and Giaa are that Gopi is soft spoken but I am a brat. I also don’t wear saris and prefer jeans and tee.
How is your rapport with your co-stars?
I gel well with them. I have been getting along well with Rucha (Hasabnis, she plays Rashi in the show). There are issues but we have accepted each other the way we are.
Saathiya has been the no 1 show in spite of being in the 7 pm slot…
I was initially upset about the 7 pm slot. I wondered how many people would actually be able to watch the show at that time. But we have worked hard for the show and the team effort and the content that seems to have worked and been appreciated. We have created a slot and we are extremely proud of it.
How do you spend your free time?
I love doing pottery. I have learnt horse riding. I love dancing. I like to hang out with my friends. I am not the sort who would sit at home. The only things I do at home are sleep and take a shower (laughs).
Are you a TV buff?
I was but now it is not possible to watch TV. But sometimes I do download my shows from YouTube and catch up on some episodes.
Your favourite co-star?
I like working with my onscreen saas (Rupal Patel).
What is the best part about playing Gopi?
When this character was narrated to me I was told it will be completely positive. Gopi is overly optimistic and positive. I am lucky to play such a character at the beginning of my career. Gopi gets sympathy and fans tell me they cry when they see her cry. I am happy that Gopi has been able to hold the audiences. The best part about her is that even though she is uneducated she is intelligent, more than her sister (smiles).
Reality shows for you?
I am dying to be a part of a dance reality show. I hope Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa considers me but I guess since I have been in this industry for just six months I will get reality show offers over a period of time.
Message for TellyChakkar fans?
I would just like to thank my fans for their love and support. Keep watching the show and showing their love. Thank you.