Imagine being just 24-year-old, and dancing next to Shah Rukh Khan in the most-awaited film of the year. Having the opportunity to watch and learn from Shah Rukh’s mastery of his craft would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And the memories of dancing alongside him would be remembered for a lifetime.
That’s what happened in the case of Lehar Khan. The actress, who is playing a pivotal role as one in the ‘girl gang’ member in SRK’s ‘Jawan’ was seen perfectly synchronizing her steps with the Bollywood icon in ‘Zinda Banda’, which is one of the most popular dance tracks currently. In fact, the song has achieved 46 million views on YouTube in just 24 hours.
Lehar used to dance to SRK dance tracks like ‘Gori Gori’ and was transported back to her childhood when she learned that she would actually be matching steps with the King Khan. She stated, “The little child in me instantly recalled how I used to dance at home on Shah Rukh sir’s songs like ‘Gori Gori’ and ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’. In fact, I used to dance to any song of Shah Rukh sir like a little ball of power. Everything was playing in my head and I made sure I gave all my energy and spirit while dancing next to him in Zinda Banda.”
Lehar stated that SRK’s infectious energy and charm channelizes into everyone. “He was the source of energy right between us. I remember in one of the shots, I was just watching him and forgot my steps. Then, I thought to myself, ‘Oh who’s going to watch me, just look at him’,” she smiled.
For Lehar, SRK is an epitome of perfectionism. “The intensity of his desire to get every shot right is unparalleled. Witnessing his commitment to rehearsals is a lesson in itself. He never wastes a single take, tirelessly rehearsing until he delivers a flawless performance. It’s truly awe-inspiring to watch him in action. Despite being a superstar, he remains humble and down-to-earth, making everyone on set feel welcomed and loved. He smells the best and those hugs, they are simply the warmest,” she said.
Lehar, who started her career on a dance reality show ‘Kids Dhoom’, has come far within a short span of time, and having made her debut with Nila Madhab Panda’s ‘Jalpari’, she went onto work in ‘Parched’ and then Ayan Mukerji’s ‘Brahmastra’. She has also worked in a hit web series ‘Dahan: Raakan Ka Rahasya’ alongside Tisca Chopra and Saurabh Shukla.
Just from the prevue of ‘Jawan’, it is quite evident that we will get to see some deadly action sequences. On asking how comfortable she was doing action, the young actress said she had the preparation for action sequences while working on ‘Brahmastra’. “I had six months of rigorous physical training, practicing MMA for full-body strength. This preparation immensely helped me in ‘Jawan’. As for my character’s preparation, I’m afraid I can’t reveal much at the moment. Action has become my favourite genre, and as an actor, I want to do more action films,” she said.
Lehar on having so much fun working on ‘Jawan’, says that she is looking forward to working with director Atlee again. “Atlee sir is all heart. His remarkable clarity and control over his direction are truly impressive. I fondly recall our beautiful interactions, where he displayed utmost care and love for his actors, ensuring a positive working environment. It’s incredibly touching how he takes care of the entire cast and crew, making sure everyone is treated well. I am immensely grateful to him for believing in me and entrusting me in a film featuring a great lineup of actors,” she said.
Though Shah Rukh Khan played a scientist in ‘Brahmastra’, and Lehar played ‘Raveena’, a recruit of Brahmnsh who wields the Gajastra, both of them never met. In fact, Lehar was excited when she learned she was in the same film as him. She thought she would be able to meet her ‘dream hero’. But then, both the characters never interacted in the film. A heartbroken Lehar thought her dream to meet SRK was crushed. However, her luck was with her and when she learned her next film ‘Jawan’ was with him, her excitement knew no bounds. “Later on, I had the chance to mention to him that I was also part of ‘Brahmastra’ and he acknowledged it. I showed him my brief 0.5-second shot in the trailer. He captured a screenshot of my shot on his phone, and said he will keep it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” she said.
Asking her about what expectations from ‘Jawan’ and Lehar hopes the film will open doors for her. “I want to continue working hard and be part of good films. I want the audience to enjoy my performance. At present, I am eagerly waiting for September 7, 2023, when ‘Jawan’ will be released worldwide,” she said.