She has literally grown up on the small screen! Sixteen-year-old Jannat Zubair Rahmani, who started her career at seven and featured in several shows like ‘Chand Ke Paar Chalo’ and ‘Phulwa’, is currently seen as the heroine in ‘Tu Aashiqui’. In a usual set-up, the lead couple is expected to become intimate after their love story develops, but Jannat, who is still a minor, is against performing anything that is not appropriate for her age, even if that means walking out of the show. Recently, she was required to kiss her co-actor, which she refused.
In an exclusive chat with BT, Jannat said, “I understand that a leading lady is expected to do certain things, but I am just 16. I can’t do what a 25-year-old would. A kiss on the hand or forehead is fine, but what I was asked to do was out of place. It was an intense kiss and I wouldn’t have been comfortable doing it. I have many teenagers following me on social media and if I agree to do something like this, it would set a wrong example. There is an appropriate age for everything and even then, the actress should be given the option of choosing to do a particular scene.”
Jannat’s parents supported her decision; in fact, it was her mother who put her foot down on the set. Jannat says, “Most parents don’t speak against the makers, fearing that their child would be replaced on the show, but not mine. I felt very proud when my mother took a stand for me and told the makers that I won’t do the scene. Also, it’s not that we raised the concern midway. We had clearly mentioned right at the beginning that I wouldn’t do scenes that didn’t suit my age. I was clear that I’d rather quit the show than perform intimate scenes with my co-actor.”
Meanwhile, there was buzz that the makers wanted to replace her and were auditioning actresses to step into her shoes. The news did affect her, admits Jannat. “Bura toh laga. I would have been fine if they were replacing me for being unprofessional or not acting well. But I am a thorough professional and have been appreciated by the team for my performance. It was strange ki ek kiss refuse karne par aap replace ho rahe ho. Aise laga ki acting ki value se zyada kiss ki value hai,” she shares.
However, it’s all sorted now, and the scenes have been dropped. She says, “When you are right, you don’t have to bow down to anyone. They had to agree to our terms.”