Shaista Lodhi, long associated with morning shows, has now become a household name. Her shows have made her a hit among women who tune in to watch her every morning. And now, her fans will finally get to see her on the small screen.
Making her TV debut, Shaista speaks to Images about taking the plunge into the drama world and what the near future holds for this morning show host.
How did it start? "When I used to do morning shows, my friends from the same fraternity used to approach me for their dramas, their productions. Sometimes I'd say yes to them, but I wasn't able to fulfill my promise because of overstaying responsibilities, so this time, it was a little different and since I've taken a break from my morning show so I thought let's just try this," she said.
The serial Khwaab Nagar, which has been produced by Fahad Mustafa and Dr Ali Kazmi and directed by Syed Atif Hussain, will see Shaista in the lead role.
However, it wasn't an easy yes, she reveals that initially she was doubtful of her decision. "There were so many questions crossing my mind at the time I accepted the offer: Will I be able to do it? Will I be able to do justice to it? Will I be successful in delivering the way my director and producer want me to?" she says.
She adds, "I was not nervous, but yes, a little confused, because of the questions crossing my mind and the success I achieved in the hosting field and whether it'll be the same or not. Will people judge me and compare whether I'm a better host or actor. But I've done it and let's see how people will react."
Does this move mean it's bye-bye to morning shows? Shaista answers in the negative. She will continue doing her morning shows and why not?
"Hosting is my first passion, acting is not... at least not yet. But yes, I will continue hosting and I'll see if some good effective project comes my way, I'll do it," she says.
Though this is Shaista's first venture onto the small screen, she's not rushing into signing any more TV serials just yet. She's testing the waters to see the feedback and her own acting. "Let me just focus on acting right now, [busy with this drama] I don't want to accept any other offer from any other productions house for the time being. Let me see how it [my acting] appears on screen and then I'll decide which production I'll want to be a part of and whether I'll continue doing dramas. First let me see the feedback and myself on screen as an actor and then I'll decide."
At this point, her only concern is whether her fans will be accepting of her as an actor; though she admits it's not going to be easy for them to see the transition.
"It is not easy for people. Because they been watching me as a host for nine years, so of course it's not easy. I need to give myself and them some leeway to accept me as an actor. This being my first project of acting I don't think it will happen overnight, it will take a little while and then obviously, people will accept me.
Shaista's debut TV serialKhwaab Nagar is scheduled to go on air sometime around Oct-Nov.