MUMBAI – Mahira Khan, the leading lady of ‘Raees’, has finally jumped on to the movie’s promotions bandwagon with co-stars Shah Rukh Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, weeks after the Bollywood latest blockbuster hit Indian cinemas.
Mahira Khan became the envy of Pakistani film industry when she was selected to play the female lead opposite none other than Shah Rukh Khan in Raees – the first Pakistani actress to be paired with the King Khan and to join Bollywood’s 100 Crore Club. But she couldn’t promote the film due to the ban imposed on Pakistani artists in India.
‘Raees’ star Shah Rukh Khan, along with his co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the film’s producer Ritesh Sidhwani, addressed a recent press conference to celebrate the film’s global success. Surprisingly, Mahira also joined in via video call, and started off by admitting that the digital connection was very exciting for her.
She recalled how it was shooting with the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’ for her very first Hindi film. “He spoiled me a lot. It was like a dream come true. I wonder how can someone work with anyone else after working with him. SRK always used to make us laugh even before a serious scene, due to which we simply couldn’t keep a straight face for the camera,” Mahira told the Indian journalists.
When asked about her fears before the movie released, the Humsafar star said she had “this big fear that people will root for Shah Rukh’s character and not me”. “But once the film released, all my fears were put to rest by the response that I received, which has been completely fantastic and I am very grateful,” Mahira was quoted by Times of India as saying.
“When I reached the Mumbai Airport, I thought I’d be greeted by Shah Rukh running towards me, with his arms open. But that didn’t happen,” she said laughingly when asked about her first visit to Mumbai.
Mahira also spoke of her experience of dancing in ‘Udi Udi Jaa’ saying “I had to rehearse a lot and the choreographers helped me immensely.”
Shah Rukh Khan, however, also found the song difficult. “It was a tough song. I’ve never done garba in my 25 years in the film industry. I had to work hard for it. I am more of a performer, whereas Nawazuddin and Mahira are great actors. Picking up the beats of a song comes naturally to them.
Shah Rukh Khan was also asked about the actresses who have debuted with him, from Deepika and Anushka to Mahira Khan. “Deepika was already working in South. Anushka was also into modelling, and Mahira was acting before as well. All three of them were working before debuting in a film with me,” he responded.
There’s no denying that Mahira is loved by her ‘Raees’ co-stars as Nawazuddin Siddiqui jokingly said, “I wanted to be a part of the ‘Zaalima’ song just to have some more scenes with her.”
Mahira signed off by saying, “The film will soon release in Pakistan and people here are dying to watch it. I have full faith that people would go and watch ‘Raees’.”