If you've seen Mom, you know that Sajal Aly basically just killed it at her big Bolly debut.
"It was definitely a challenging role; I mean any character you play, you have to really commit to it and kind of naturally become like that, at least that's how I function."
"That being said, I think the most challenging part was performing with Sridevi ma'am. Like my very first scene in the movie is me sitting at a dining table across from her and misbehaving with her — it was terrifying! Yeh bhi nahi koi pyaar bhara scene ho," she laughs as she says that last line while talking to Images.
"Not to mention, we had to shoot in Georgia and it was freezing cold so yeah, that was pretty tough too,' she adds.
Sajal, who plays Arya, a teenager who is a rape survivor in the movie, states that this project seemed like a good fit.
"Bollywood was never my dream, in all honesty. I was happy working here and that was not something I was working towards but this story moved me. Also, I always knew that if I worked in Bollywood, I have certain limitations and boundaries that I would not want to cross and this movie was about a sensitive topic, everything was handled so tastefully."
The actress is all praise for her co-star Sridevi, who plays her mother in the movie: "She's just the sweetest person. Even now, she keeps calling me and reminding me that I'm in her thoughts."
And the feeling seems to be mutual. A teary-eyed Sridevi had recorded a message, giving Sajal and co-star Adnan Siddiqui a shoutout, which was broadcast at Mom's premiere.
"I didn't know anything about the message so of course, it made me very emotional. I was generally very emotional throughout the premiere as I have recently lost my mother," says Aly.
So now that Pak-India relations are a little strained, is it bye-bye Bollywood?
The Chup Raho actress remains optimistic.
"I do have a three film contract with Boney Kapoor but now I don't know what's in the near future. Agar kabhi dobara kia bhi toh inkay saath hi kaam karoon gi. They handed me the complete package on a silver platter: a meaty character, an excellent cast, the best of the best and for that, I'm forever grateful."
She continues, "Even Boney sir is just so encouraging; he told me that I made Arya's character realistic, which was the biggest compliment for me. Anyway for now I'm shooting for a serial O Rangreza which will air on HUM TV soon."
Talking about the response so far, Aly adds, "I'm just so, so grateful; Thank you seems like too small a word to encapsulate what I'm feeling. Everyone's sending me messages telling me they're proud of me, it's just the best feeling, knowing everyone appreciates your work, including critics from across the border."