With an Oscar nomination and a baby on the way, Mahershala Ali is working on finding balance in his hectic life. The Moonlight star, 42, spoke with ET’s Denny Directo over the weekend at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival about the many exciting events in his life this year.
WATCH: Mahershala Ali Speaks Out Against Immigration Ban in Emotional SAG Awards Acceptance Speech
“You don't get a break to really be reflective,” the recent SAG Award winner said of his press tour. “That's the only thing I look forward to this, about this being over, is that I get to look back and appreciate the time. But right now just taking it a day at a time and really enjoying the opportunities we get to share the film.”
Ali, who is currently expecting his first child with wife Amatus Sami-Karim, also opened up about the struggle between his professional and personal life.
“It’s been very challenging, and I’m working on another job as well,” he admitted. “That’s tough… It’s always a fight to try and balance it, and you’re not going to, that’s the thing. You have to just realize that you are going to, in some way shape or form, neglect some aspect of your life that needs to be tended to and that’s hard.”
As for the timing of both the Oscar race and his future child, Ali joked, “You couldn’t write it this way! I’d watch that movie and be like, ‘Ok, who make that up?’”
Luckily, Ali has a great partner in his wife.
“A big help is I have a supportive partner who loves me and gets it and has been a soldier throughout this,” he noted.
Ali also gets some sage advice from his current co-star and pal.
WATCH: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mahershala Ali, Ashton Kutcher and More Rally Against Immigration Ban at SAG Awards
“I’m working with Christoph Waltz right now, and he’s pulled me aside and just kind of shared a few things with me, a couple times, that help keep me mindful of what this is and what this means and to really try to enjoy it,” he said of the Django Unchained star.
For more on Ali’s award season, watch the clip below!