Shah Rukh Khan’s chemistry with Mahira Khan in Raees is a lesson for most romantics. The Pakistani star made her Bollywood debut opposite King Khan in the 2017 film, which had SRK donning the ‘anti-hero’ part once again after his many 90s hits. But have you ever wondered how he found his leading lady in the neighbouring country? Well, Mahira herself has spilled the beans on the same.
In an interview with the Pakistani YouTube channel Something Haute, the actor shared that she was in India to promote her show Humsafar when she got a call for Raees. Mahira shared that Humsafar was releasing in India then and since she had the visa, she was asked to travel to the country for promotions. She revealed that it was Gauri Khan’s mother, who suggested her name to the superstar.
“They had seen me on TV. It was actually Shah Rukh Khan’s mother-in-law who had seen me in Humsafar and she had told him to check this girl out,” she shared. Mahira Khan added that there were many other girls who had auditioned for the part. Hesitating to mention it first, she also revealed that she was the only actor to have asked for the script beforehand.
Just a few months before Raees was released, tensions intensified between India and Pakistan over the Uri attack. Post which, Pakistani artists were banned to work in India.
At the HARDtalk on BBC World News, Mahira had spoken about the impact it caused on the film industries, in both countries. She said that Raees did not release in Pakistan, and she wasn’t allowed to promote the film in India as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena gave an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country and to keep away from its showbiz.
“At that time I was angry. I was sad and angry and there were moments of disappointment and just hurt, you know. Now I’ve come to a place where I believe that anger doesn’t really make me a better actor. It doesn’t do anything for me as a person, so I’ve let go of that, because at that time I was in the mix of it,” said Mahira.
However, she claimed that it did not affect her career as her focus has always been working in her country. The actor said, “Bollywood was never really the aim actually. I mean sure you could argue that I could have done more films there, for sure I could have. But right after Raees, I had already started working on Verna (her Pakistani film), even before all of this happened. My focus was always Pakistan.”