Sofia Hayat is beautiful, talented and successful. She has acted in two feature films and appeared in numerous television shows, commercials and modelling campaigns. She leads a glamorous life which enables her to mingle freely with celebrities and she is often snapped by the paparazzi while out on the party circuit or dining in some of London's finest restaurants. Yet it is what lies behind Sofia's glittering career that makes her life story so compelling and inspirational. Sofia's childhood was worlds away from her current, free-spirited life. Growing up at the heart of a Muslim family, above her parents' corner shop in Kent, she was forced to comply by the strictest of rules - her father forbade her from having friends and, if she was caught talking to boys, she would suffer severe, often violent, consequences at his hands. But the lowest point of her childhood came when she learned she was to be forced into an arranged marriage - the thought of being trapped in an empty, loveless union tipped Sofia into attempting to take her own life and instigated a spate of self-harming.
Her chance to break free finally came when she won herself a place at university, where she experienced for the first time the freedoms that most young women in Britain take for granted. Her new life revolved around partying and meeting men, something that had been forbidden by her parents. Her experimentation with sex, however, resulted in death threats from her own family and, in a shocking twist, her own parents kidnapped her and an honour killing loomed as her family believed that her behaviour was tarnishing their image. In spite of the efforts of her family to thwart her bid for freedom, thanks to her strength of mind and conviction, Sofia continued to follow her dream of becoming an actress, eventually moving to London to embark on her career. She now enjoys the success she has struggled for so long to be able to achieve and mixes with celebrities such as Colin Farrell, Leonardo Di Caprio and Will Smith.
Sofia Hayat was born in 1974 and spent her childhood in Gravesend in Kent. She won her first TV presenting role in 2000, when she fronted Zee TV's flagship entertainment show Sorted. Sofia's on-screen talent carried her into the acting world when, in 2004, she won her first role as a roving reporter in the BBC series Absolute Power starring Stephen Fry. That year also saw Sofia become a finalist on the hit Channel 4 reality TV show Bollywood Star. Sofia's singing carer began to flourish during this period and she performed solo at The Royal Albert Hall for the victims and survivors of the Pakistani Earthquake. A number of top TV commercials (Timotei, Lloyds Bank) followed in 2006. Sofia won her first feature film role as the part of Beauty alongside Malcolm McDowell and Stephen Billington in Exitz in 2005, followed by Cash and Curry, starring Ameet Chana from Bend it Like Beckham. Cash and Curry recently won Best Feature Film at this year's Portobello Film Festival, Europe's largest independent film festival. Sofia's recent screen success was the lead role as Padma in The Unforgettable, Sofia is also currently working on her own film script in tandem with several top film producers, I Don't Want to Marry Shah Ruck Khan is a comedy if errors based on the challenges faced by women in the Muslin world.