Social Diary Exclusive Zhalay Sarhadi

Zhalay has proved herself to be a versatile actor with her amazing skills. This week we had a chit chat with her about her personal as well as professional life. Have a read!  


Please tell us about your background, education and date of birth…
I have done bachelor honors in fine arts. I come from a family of actors, artist and educators.
How is the lockdown and current slowdown of work has impacted you?
It has greatly affected every one of us. Both mentally and financially. I have tried to stay afloat by being active on social media and keeping myself busy with something productive. The hope and faith that things shall resume their course has kept me sane.
How did you enter in the showbiz industry?
I starred in a sitcom called Punterz when I was studying and had to fund my education. That day onwards there was no looking back.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
The freedom to play various characters and live so many lives. Every job in the world is mundane but our’s is an adventure every day. I love the unpredictability of it all. Gives way to creativity and is what I fancy the most.
You have worked as a model; what do you enjoy more? Acting or modelling?
Both have their individualistic charm but acting is always my choice of poison.
What one thing you want to improve about our drama industry?
Better and more variety in roles for women. We are mostly stereotyped into playing either the angelic sacrificial lamb or the career driven, family hating, vengeful siren. No grey areas.
You are very selective in choosing your roles for projects, while selecting the roles, what is your priority? And why is it so?
In the past I was greedy and wanted to act in every project that came my way. I had a thirst for the Craft which was insatiable. Over time I realized that in order to keep the joy alive was to choose quality over quantity and attempt at characters which I hadn’t played before. I look for scripts whatchallenge me to get out if my comfort zone.
You comment on genres of present age. Do you think the overall quality of dramas has deteriorated?
Like I said there are too many productions happening to fill slots on channels. There is occasionally one project which is focused upon and it turns out good aesthetically and creatively.
It is a case of quantity over quality.
You have worked in Pakistani cinema as well. Tell us about your experience.

I love movies. Both watching them and acting in them. I feel that they give an actor a larger than life platform to prove themselves and their talent. All the films I have done so far I have enjoyed the process of making them. I am not one to fret upon the end result.
Your fans would really like to know about your upcoming project…
I have two current projects in air. One is a serial called Qismatkalikha on Express ent. and the other is Jalaibi a sitcom on Ary digital. There are two films in the pipeline, a YouTube channel and a stint in the music business. Fingers crossed for all of them to come through earlier than later.
What is the perfect way of balancing work and personal life?
Keeping them separate. I don’t bring work, home and I don’t take my home life to work. You can say I have a dual existence.
Any fun fact about you that people are not aware of?
That I can draw and paint. I am a graduate painter.
You always look so great, and have managed to stay in shape. What’s your secret?
Thank you. I have tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle both with regards to nutrition and exercise. I work out every day, stay hydrated, try to sleep at least 7 hours at night, take supplements regularly, try to be positive and stress free. Having faith keeps one strong and healthy.
Quick fire:
Lahore or Islamabad
Meat or Vegetables
Guilty pleasure food vice
Movie or books?
Morning person or night owl?
3 Netflix recommendations?
True detective, Fargo, the sinner all seasons, Working women, Lucifer etc.
Your message to the aspiring actors who take you as an inspiration, through the platform of Social Diary Magazine?
Just believe in yourself and work on it. Talent is useless without hard work and skill is pointless without patience. Determination is key and so is originality. Be your best self. Good luck.


“Committing towards the Care of Our Community” Afsheen Zeeshan chats with Social Diary