I always speak my mind, says Zhalay Sarhadi

Zhalay stands by the motto, “I think, therefore I am” by Descartes. This saying has been refuted and condemned by many philosophers, but it has helped her in the direst of times

Zhalay Sarhadi says it like she means it. She is versatile in her craft and almost all her acting performances are evident of hard work and dedication to the arts. When I asked Zhalay whether she always intended to be an actress, she responded, “Not that I remember, but I was always involved in extracurricular activities in my school. My father’s friend, Sajid Hassan, casted me in his project Punterz. Thus I entered the world of showbiz.”

Prior to mainstream acting and modeling, Sarhadi was a VJ. “Acting was my forte but my initial claim to fame was hosting. I’ve been lucky in a sense that whatever I did early on in my career was noticed. I was a VJ for the shortest time period and it wasn’t a major factor in getting me out there but definitely added to my portfolio,” she said when questioned if being a VJ helped her breakout in the industry.

As many people know, Zhalay is not shy at all in expressing her views. Words such as ‘vocal’ and ‘bold’ fit her personality well. “Has your celebrity persona been affected in any way because of this?” I queried. “I speak my mind and have always done so. As a celebrity, being keenly followed by even one person makes us more responsible for our actions and words. I follow this principle. I feel that we need to be true to ourselves and not be swayed by glitz and glam,” she declared.

When asked where she sees herself next, she said she wants to ‘go international’. As an artist, I feel the need to explore even more opportunities. I am, by no means talking only about Bollywood. Sadly actresses have restricted the amount of characters they portray in Pakistan. Let’s see what the rest of the world has to offer,” she said.

Does Zhalay prefer doing films or dramas? What is she drawn to the most? “I prefer work and to sit idle; creating anything and viewing it as a tangible reality gives me most satisfaction. When it comes to acting, it is always an enjoyable experience.’

Zhalay is not shy at all in expressing her views. Words such as ‘vocal’ and ‘bold’ fit her personality well

Not only are celebrities working 24/7, but enjoy binge watching shows like most of us do! The actress spoke about the television shows she is currently hooked on.

“Where do I start? Let’s say ‘The Crown’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘One Day at a Time’ are on the top of my list. I watch an insane amount of shows and if I list them all here, it will probably be a snooze fest!” she replied.

Zhalay would like to experiment with sci-fi and action film genres as she has not seen herself portray superhero characters. When I questioned her with regard to being a successful actor, she said, “I haven’t found an answer to this yet. What I have done so far is this; I try to give my best to each character, no matter how small it maybe. I am a thorough professional and I try being the character itself than portray Zhalay each time.”

Would she change anything about Pakistan’s fashion industry? Zhalay quoted, ‘I have no authority or expertise to change anything about fashion in Pakistan. Let the fashion gurus handle it,” she affirmed. I explored the actress’ personal side and talked about how motherhood changed her life. “My favorite person to be is a mum. She is the sheer joy of my existence. I don’t ember life before my precious. She taught me to be more patient and compassionate and makes me want to be a better person,” the actress added.

“Is there a motto you live by? How does it help you?”

Zhalay cited by a renowned philosopher. “I have had several mottos growing up. The one that I stand by is ‘I think, therefore I am’ by Descartes. This has been refuted and condemned by many philosophers but it has helped me in the direst of times. When I feel the world cannot see me or my potential isn’t met, my opinion and determined algebra supersede everything. I would jump back up!”

As I concluded my interview with Zhalay, the stunning actress shared her words of wisdom for youngsters; “I believe hard work pay off and there is no giving up if a person loves doing something. You have no other option but to move forward. Look up to those who have had less than you. It keeps you humble, grounded and motivated. This is what I do and it keeps me sane and happy.”

The writer is a model and an actor. He can be reached at haiderrifaat95@gmail.com