Saboor Ali – Spreading Her Wings

Sajal’s sister. It is a tag that has tailed her everywhere; onscreen and off-screen. It is injustice; how sometimes things are run in the world of showbiz, for Saboor; an actress of substance has the prowess to run the show solely, on her own terms. Her star power shines bright in its own sphere and is never eclipsed by her sister’s; whom Saboor regards as her soul mate.

An unfazed Saboor shrugs off all comparisons drawn between the two, saying “there is no’ competition”. Having starred in a string of notable dramas, the actress has proven her mettle by constantly reinventing herself in every performance. In a light chat with MAG, Saboor throws it back to her first steps into the industry, how the journey has fared for her, her bond with Sajal and her future projects. Read on…

How would you define yourself as a person?

In just two words; strong and independent.

Have you always wanted to be an actor, or fate led you here?

It was never my wish to be an actor. I always wanted to be an aeronautical engineer but due to some unavoidable circumstances, I ended up becoming an actor. But I must say that it has been an enlightening journey so far.

They say, sometimes for good actors certain roles can leave an indelible mark and can go skin-deep. Can you relate to this notion?

I think we don’t find enough time to focus on one project and to be fully immersed in any character. We may play one character for 15 days or so and then don on the garb of the other. But we don’t get the time to carry and handle on to a single role for a long time. At least I don’t. We have to keep switching and as an actor that is quite difficult. But our industry still has to grow in terms that one project is handled at one time with utmost focus. I give my hundred percent, but so far, there hasn’t been a character that has impacted me personally. I come across fans who have told me how I made them cry with my performance. I think success is when people don’t recognise you by your name, but with your onscreen characters.

You are almost instantly recognised as Sajal Aly’s sister. With such recognition, how do you manage to hold your own? Does it irk you?

Yes, people do recognise me as Sajal’s sister but I’ve never had a problem with that. Not because she is a social media star, but because she earned it through her talent and is one of the finest actors in the country. She is my pride. Being associated with her name makes me delightful. But no one can deny that I, too, have also made a name for myself. At times, people don’t realise that success is always backed by relentless hard work. So far there hasn’t been any project that I have scored because of my Sajal. All projects that I have bagged so far, are because of my skills and my own talent.

Earlier, when I saw siblings of famous actors on screen, be it Bollywood or our own drama industry, I would think to myself that their famous siblings have gotten them their big break. But when I started working, I realised everyone gets to their place with their hard work. There are many examples of people who made it on screen with big names behind them, but couldn’t do well. Waheed Murad was one of the finest actors but Adil Murad couldn’t match up. Amitabh Bachan and Abhishek Bachan are another such example.

How would you define your bond with Sajal? You may be similar in habits and looks, but is there a distinguishing trait between your personalities?

We don’t show our bond on social media and I doubt we will in the future. We don’t publicly hug or praise each other that often either. But deep down, in the time of dire need, we know that we have each other’s support.

Personality wise, we are very different. People believe that Sajal is a bit straight forward and strong, but in reality it’s me who’s stronger, emotionally. Usually, I provide her support where wits are needed.

Share with us the most thrilling moment of your life.

I think when the first episode of my new project will be aired, it would be my most thrilling moment.

What goes into the making of a good actress? Who's your favourite actress from the entertainment industry?

To be a good actor, you need to be a good observer. The more observant you are of your surroundings and the more sensitive you are, it all plays a part in shaping up a good actor. From this industry, my favourite actress is Sajal and Yumna Zaidi.

What’s your stance on the #MeToo movement prevalent in the industry?

I believe #MeToo movement is quite a brave cause, but when anything arises, or any movement paces up, we tend to misuse it and take it for granted. If we don’t misuse it or take the whole concept as a joke then it’s okay for women to raise their voices and speak up against violence and abuse.

When you're not working, what activity occupies most of your time?

When I am not working, I watch movies. And I manage things at home as well, because I have a responsibility of the household. I hang out with my friends for some quality time.

Of all your drama serials and performances, which has been the closest to your heart?

One of the projects which is very close to my heart is Rang Laaga. That was a life turning moment for me. I got recognition, and got so many good projects following it.

Any projects that you're currently working on or are in the pipeline?

I have two projects lined up right now, first is Gul-e-Gulzar and the second is Meri Beti Ayesha. And I am very excited for both of them.


Favourite perfume?

Encre Noire

Last movie you watched?

Money Heist (Netflix Show)

A song that you have been listening on repeat lately.

Something Just Like This by The ChainSmokers & ColdPlay

Favourite lip colour for a casual evening out?

MAC Velvet Teddy

Last picture you took?

It was on my friend's birthday... I took a picture with Umair Qazi

Beaches or mountains?


The most memorable moment?

Going for Umrah with my family.

First celebrity crush?

It was George Clooney.

First paycheck?

Rs 30,000. I was 15 years old at that time.

Your idea of an ideal man?

A man who respects women.

Hair, Make-up & Photography: Akif Ilyas