Bollywood was never my dream, says Sajal Aly

Bollywood was never my dream, says Sajal Aly

The actress gets candid about having to misbehave with Sridevi onscreen, shooting in freezing weather and what's next
Updated 29 Feb, 2020

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.

Read more: 'Mom' is a must-see and not just because we support Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Aly

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.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

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."


Krishankant Jul 12, 2017 09:58am
The unbreakable bond between Pakistan and India is the common culture. Possibly, this will unite us again.
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KT Jul 12, 2017 10:11am
Professionalism demands decent attitude. Many Chinese film professional like Jackie Chan have also worked with Indians. Most important here is many production houses are US based and income eventually goes in United States America and for that reasons movies are exhibited in worldwide countries including China and Pakistan.
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JP sundriyal Jul 12, 2017 10:14am
I have yet to see Mom but the both actors from Pak are well known to me through Zindagi chanel .I really appriciate Sajal su cute and so stong on sceen. Love you both..
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Shahbaz Ahmed Tarar Jul 12, 2017 10:38am
She is good actress
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ringo Jul 12, 2017 10:53am
In the midst of politically motivated statements, it is refreshing to know that we respect each other at some level. The credit goes to seemingly influential Bollywood stars who still try to promote art and culture by joining hands, venting off local pressures and invite artists from across the border to take up projects with them. Both the countries have enormous talent, Congratulations team MOM.
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Mohammad Baig Jul 12, 2017 10:55am
Should you talk about women and the youth empowerment in your articles and the plays.
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Syed irfan ali Jul 12, 2017 11:14am
All the best to Sajal. We are proud of her.
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LAFANGA Jul 12, 2017 11:27am
Bollywood is nothing without Pakistani actors.
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mahendra Jul 12, 2017 12:08pm
@LAFANGA Why you people don't take much time to come down to your original character?
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Rohan Jul 12, 2017 12:15pm
@LAFANGA This is like saying Hollywood is nothing without Indian stars. Bollywood is hundred years successful film industry, side roles in 1-2 movies out of 400 per year, with comback aging stars hardly effects it. It's not even in 100 crore club to be called a hit.
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Tahir Jul 12, 2017 12:23pm
@Krishankant I hope we could stay as good neighbors at best no one here is harboring notions of reuniting the two
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bimal william Jul 12, 2017 12:28pm
@LAFANGA Pakistan is nothing without Bollywood movies. If Bollywood movies are not screened in Pakistan nobody feel like going to cinema hall.
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ripan Jul 12, 2017 12:35pm
@LAFANGA yeah and hollywood is nothing without Indian actors,how does that sound?
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Bollywood admirer Jul 12, 2017 02:00pm
You should follow your dream. If it is not Bollywood you shouldn't be there.
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a ali Jul 12, 2017 02:08pm
thanks ... sigh of relief.
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LILLY Jul 12, 2017 02:19pm
Credit should be given to Bollywood. It is not easy to suck up the pressure from within and still invite Pakistani actors to act in their movies. Could have easily opted for someone in India. But this is a great gesture. Pakistan should try to emulate this even though it has very little to offer Indians in terms of art and culture.
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Thoroughthinker Jul 12, 2017 02:46pm
Big money is every actor's foremost dream.
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Himmat Jul 12, 2017 03:11pm
@LAFANGA It is other way around. Pakistani actors are nothing without Bollywood.
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a ali Jul 12, 2017 03:12pm
she won an Oscar ?
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JAAHIL INSAAN Jul 12, 2017 03:59pm
@LAFANGA : Just for a change, please talk sense.
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Bob Jul 12, 2017 08:48pm
@LAFANGA Where are the Pakistani actors in Dangal, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sholey, Pakeejah, Mughal-e-ajam, etc.etc.
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Amjid Jul 12, 2017 09:01pm
besides boundary, we all are human beings ,what hurts me is that we just try to bring people more distanced rather bringing them together. politics is a disgusting thing which never let any person think about humanity...Actors can do well bringing peace in this region.Anyhow Sajal Ali seemed to me acted well in the must appreciate her work....
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Aslam Jul 12, 2017 11:54pm
@Krishankant god forbid, Pak and indian culture is totally opposite in every way
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Alba Jul 13, 2017 12:15am
She can leave Bollywood anytime and follow her dream. I have more respect for Mumaith Khan's work ethic than all the female fluff on film. _If you want your paycheck you do what your boss tells you. Why are actresses different than we are? They are just more spoiled.
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Onlooker Jul 13, 2017 12:24am
@LAFANGA .Bollywood has no shortage of talent. The Pakistani artists much be thankful for being accommodated, by Bollywood.
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Parmeshwar Jul 16, 2017 06:39pm
This is the true India Pakistan relation we must celebrate. The world has become closer. Barriers are falling apart. There is no scope for animosity and petty nationalism. Celebrate similarities in culture, arts, food and humanity.
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Khan Jul 16, 2017 08:06pm
Sajjal Aly is very talented.
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Khan Jul 16, 2017 08:07pm
@LAFANGA Bollywood is crap mostly.
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Khan Jul 16, 2017 08:09pm
@Bollywood admirer It's nothing to do with Bollywood which is fake as the name suggests. Come up with your own name and don't copy Hollywood like name which is actually a city or change Mumbai to Bollywood. Indians are good at copying and can't come up with anything original. She is professional and whoever pays her for acting can hire her.
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Jonaid Jul 17, 2017 12:38am
Too much emphasis on performing arts is detrimental as performing artists are mostly conjurers who will turn corners for a few more maybe shackles. National pride means nothing to them, both Indians and Pakistanis.
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