Somy Ali on her comeback: If I am offered a meaningful script with a fearless female at the helm, I will consider returning to acting


Somy Ali quit acting in 1999 and moved back to the US to complete her education. Later, she started her own NGO, No More Tears (NMT), which has kept her busy for the past 15 years. After a long hiatus, the former Bollywood actress will now be seen in a docuseries on an OTT platform. She says, “It is a raw and intense docuseries that follows the work at my NGO. This opportunity allows me to shed some light on the victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. It took me many years to tell my story of abuse. I think it’s time we start to understand the ramifications of these atrocities and that it’s never too late to speak out. Sharing my journey has been extremely cathartic, and perhaps the most liberating. I hope that through this docuseries, more victims will understand that they are not alone, they don't have to suffer in silence, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Facing the camera decades later was an unnerving experience for Somy. However, the uneasiness was taken over by her enthusiasm in no time. She shares, “Suddenly there were cameras everywhere documenting all my moves, every call, meeting, and of course, every rescue. But it was interesting how quickly I got used to them being there that after a point, I forgot about them.”
Many actors have made a comeback to showbiz in recent times. However, Somy isn’t too keen or shall we say not in a rush? Ask her the reason and she replies, “I am so fulfilled by my work at my NGO that it would take a very powerful project to pull my focus away -- one that would have conviction and a mission attached to it. I am honestly not interested in returning to acting. Having said that, if I am offered a meaningful script with a fearless female trying to save lives at the helm…now that is a role I would consider.”
Indian cinema has grown by leaps and bounds with an influx of female-oriented stories. Talking about the change, the former actress says, “Hindi cinema has evolved significantly and there is an absolute progression when it comes to actresses. There was no way we would witness a script catering more towards the leading lady than the male actor a decade ago. Actresses are no longer just the glamour quotient and prancing around trees is a thing of the past.”
She adds, “I am definitely tempted if the subject devoid of fluff. It should be a script with a message on any pivotal topic. I would like to play the role where various shades of women are depicted in a pragmatic manner. Given the era has changed and married actresses have returned to acting, age is now deemed just a number for cinema and OTT platforms. <
I had no interest in acting when I did films like ‘Anth’ (1994), ‘Aao Pyaar Karein’ (1994) and ‘Andolan’ (1995). However, after seeing such a drastic change in Hindi films and the web series, I am quite impressed and actually taken aback with how much significance is given to female actors.”

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