Press Reviews, Testimonials & Awards

Heaven on Earth

“Balinder Johal is even worse: a cold manipulative woman who could send a shiver up Karl Rove’s spine.”
Barry Hertz — National Post
“This horror version of the Adams Family includes, a witch-like mother-in-law (superbly played by Balinder Johal).”
DNA: Entertainment: Heaven on Earth, a good script gone awry Udita Jhunjuwala Saturday, march28, 2009
(read full review)
“Balinder Johal is wonderful as the protective mother unwilling to accept the fact that her son is married. Johal plays Maji as the clear leader of the clan, a woman whose path you don’t want to cross.”
Marina Antunes — VIFF Review: October10, 2008
“Maji (Balinder Johal’s tenor and tone are ideal for the domineering matriarch).”
S. James Wegg — reviewed at the 27th Vancouver International Film Festival
“There is the mother, who doesn’t mind driving up the highway in the middle of the night to walk up to the hotel room of her son on his first honeymoon night. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can take her son away from her. …The sinister saas (mother-in law) and the senile sasur (father-in-law) are hilarious. ”
Pratim D. Gupta — The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 28, 2009
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“Mehta gets top marks for her casting. Balinder Johal plays the mother–in-law from hell.”
Mathew Hays — Montreal Mirror — Film
“Another thankless task falls to Balinder Johal as the horrid and jealous mother-in-law.”
Bruce Kirkland — Sun Media
“Mehta teased a performance of such power from Johal, that she herself could not have imagined it.”
Monster-in-law, India Style — Randy Shore — Vancouver Sun, October 31 2008
“As a mother-in-law, Balinder Johal is marvellous adding so much authenticity to her character.”
Sonia Chopra — Review Videsh — Heaven on Earth
(read full review)
“Deepa Mehta scores in establishing credible characters…..especially effective is the mother who is extremely insecure of losing his son to his wife.”
Gaurav Malan — India Times Movies,
“Balinder Johal is just perfect as an insecure mother who competes for Rocky's attention, turning him against his wife.”
Rajeev Masand — CNN-IBN, March 27,2009
“Balinder Johal is superbly effective as the neurotic mother-in–law, who is so insecure about losing her only earning son that she interrupts his honeymoon and actually goads him into beating his wife.”
Anupama Chopra, Consulting Editor, Films — NDTV Friday March 27, 2009

Bollywood Wedding

“Bibiji, You bring weight and humour to our show — an amazing and important conversation to have with the audience……It was an honor to direct you.”
Camyar Chaichian, Director — Bollywood Wedding
“Bibiji!!! You are such an awesome actor……It was fortunate for us to have met you.”
Raakhi Sinha and Gurp Sian, Writers — Bollywood Wedding

49th and Main

“Balinder, You were the scariest mother-in-law ever!”
Barbara Ellison, Writer — 49th and Main Series

My Granny the Goldfish

“With her mischievous energy, boundless enthusiasm and experience, Balinder Johal was exactly what my play My Granny the Goldfish needed. She made Granny come alive, and her performance shall always be cherished.”
Anosh Irani, Writer — My Granny the Goldfish
“…Balinder Johal playing “Granny”……it does not take long to realise you’re in for a night of high quality theatre. She has such a natural stage presence, unique to the highest quality of actor, that you soon forget she’s anyone else but the person she presents.”
Miche’al Donnellan — Urban Pie, April 29,2010
“Balinder Johal plays lovely comic timing as Granny, her performance is a bit one note, but it’s a delightfully mischievous note, so what the heck.”
Colin Thomas —
“Balinder Johal is charming Granny…she receives lots of laughs as she bounces her ludicrous remarks off her grandson.”
Susan Peake — Review Vancouver
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“Balinder Johal brought bulk of humour to bed side, as eccentric grannies typically do. The relationship between the two unravelled from an ‘annoying relative’ impression to a deep understanding bond.”
Katie Loves —
“Balinder Johal as Granny is charming.”
Taryn Hubbard —

Here and Now

“Balinder Johal was in Headlines' production of “Here and Now” in 2005. This was a collectively created and interactive play on gang violence issues. She was fearless in the creation process and a beautifully transparent presence as the Grandmother in the play and with audience interactions every night. Balinder has something that one cannot teach an actor, and that is the ability to listen and respond authentically. It was a real pleasure to work with her.”
David Diamond, Artistic and Managing Director —
Headlines Theatre
“Cast members handed these interventions beautifully…emotionally honest and very adept at improvising in character. Especially note worthy are Balinder Johal (Daadi)… Few plays offer such an opportunity for collective understanding, and such a powerful catalyst for change.”
Kathleen Oliver — Georgia Straight, November 24, 2005 (read full review)
“[Here and Now is] a genuinely gripping piece, which is powerful enough to prompt heartfelt responses that can only help deal with the problem.”
Peter Birnie, Critic’s Picks — Vancouver Sun, November 24, 2005
“Tremendously important… I found myself talking about nothing but this play [Here and Now] the next morning.”
Jerry Wasserman — The Province, November, 2005
Heaven on Earth
Randy Shore's interview about
Heaven on Earth on
(read full interview)
Heaven on Earth
Will Sloan's review of Heaven on Earth
on (read full review)
Bollywood Wedding Poster
Bollywood Wedding Poster
My Granny the Goldfish
Courier review of
My Granny the Goldfish
My Granny the Goldfish
My Granny the Goldfish
(photo by David Cooper)
Here and Now
The Globe and Mail review of
Here and Now
Here and Now


Award Year
Leo Winner — Best Performance by a Female in a Mini Series — The 410 2020
Canadian Screen Award Nominee — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role — Beeba Boys 2016
Leo Nominee — Best Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama — Beeba Boys 2016
Leo Award — Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama — The Birthday (link) 2008
Leo Nominee — Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama — Subsistence (link) 2012
Leo Nominee — Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama — Heaven On Earth by Deepa Mehta (link) 2009
Harpal Tiwana Centre for Performing Arts Award (India for Theatre, Film, and TV) 2011
Darpan Magazine — Extraordinary Achievement Award as a South Asian in the Film Industry (link) 2010
Sikhlens: Art and Film Festival — Los Angeles — Creative Focus Award (Screen Actress) 2010
Punjabi Arts Association Of Toronto — Contribution to Punjabi Theatre, Art and Culture 2008
Patiala-Fatehgarh Sahib sports & Cultural Club, Toronto, Canada — Theatre Actress 2007
Punjabi Profile TV Award — Multicultural Channel (for Chaachiji — 80 TV Episodes) 2004
New Vision Entertainment Ltd. (for Lead Role in Pardes Series) 2001
Sikh Society Calgary and Dashmesh Cultural Centre (for Sarhind Di Deewar — Play) 1994
Balinder Johal with Darpan Award
Darpan Awards 2010
Extraordinary Achievement Award,
Marvel in Industry
Harpal Tiwana Foundation Award
Receiving Harpal Tiwana Foundation Award from S. Parkash Singh Badal — Chief Minister of Punjab
(with Mrs. Neena Tiwana - center)