In a recent interview, Ishrat Made in China actor Sara Loren, previously known as Mona Liza, reflected on her name change as well as her feelings towards the differences between Bollywood and the local film industry. When asked by the host on YouTube chat show, Momina’s Mixed Plate, whether she prefers India or Pakistan for films, the actor responded, “For movies, I would definitely say India. But I can see that our content is very different. India has a very big market and is actually a developed industry. It’s one of the biggest [entertainment] industries that we know.”
Sara added, reflecting on her inclination towards Pakistani content, “But, Pakistan has its own essence and style. Me being a Pakistani, I’m more comfortable with my own essence. Our own topics, language and emotions. That’s separate.” The actor, who previously starred in the Bollywood film Murder 3 helmed by Mahesh Bhatt, also spoke about her relationship with the director and his family. She shared, “For me, the Bhatts are like family. They’re the ones who picked me for Bollywood. They love Pakistan. They have a connection with the country that is very clear.”
The actor’s decision to change her name, albeit, was prompted by the constant questioning. Elaborating on how the name, which she shared with the famous Leonarda da Vinci painting Mona Lisa, led to a lot of questioning, Sara shared, “I didn’t plan on changing my name. When I started out, people would refer to me as Mona Liza because it’s connected to the painting. I kept asking people what I should change my name to, but I couldn’t come up with anything.”
She continued, “Then, my work started and I became an established actor. But, once I entered Bollywood and the international market, everybody had a different question and the conversation on my name didn’t end… I figured I needed to add another name if I was to work on more international projects.”
The actor thought long and hard before finally settling with her current name, “We didn’t want to jeopardise my entire career because of the confusion related to my name. So, Sanjay Jumani, who added an extra ‘r’ to Irrfan Khan’s name, helped me pick Sara Loren. There were very authentic people involved.