Lehar Khan’s dreams come true as she will soon be in a film with Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupati and Priyamani

She’s only 24, and is already living her dreams. Lehar Khan is ticking off her bucket list and creating milestones at an age when some are not even sure what they want to do with their lives. Sharing the silver screen with Bollywood’s biggest stars of the likes of Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt in the blockbuster ‘Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva’ to sharing screen space with megastar Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan, she is one of the most promising young talents in Bollywood. She is all set to captivate audiences once again as she joins forces with the megastar Shah Rukh Khan in the highly-anticipated Bollywood film ‘Jawan,’ directed by Atlee. Lehar is playing one of the women warriors in SRK’s team in ‘Jawan’. “You can see me with a sniper, wearing a hoodie,” she reveals of her look in the upcoming flick.

Lehar started her acting journey at the tender age of 11. A terrific dancer, her first brush with a camera happened when she took part in a dance reality show ‘Kids Dhoom’. Then, she acted in a short film, titled ‘Disney’. Soon, Lehar was selected to work with award-winning director Neela Madhab Panda on ‘Jalpari’. Lehar also did a hit OTT ‘Dahan’ opposite Tisca Chopra. Here’s more from the young starlet…

How did you get the offer to be a part of this huge film opposite SRK?
This time the process was other way around, I was directly called for a meeting with Atlee sir (Atlee Kumar) at Red Chillies office first. We met for a very little time, and then left. Again, Mukesh sir’s team got in touch for an audition, but for a change this time I got a call the very next day. I picked up the call and I hear Mukesh sir tell me, so the audition you gave yesterday was so good that they want you to do the film. I couldn’t believe it honestly. I was on my toes looking at my mom doing some random actions in the air, telling her that “I think I got it”. We both started jumping because, I mean it’s SRK!! And after keeping the call I just made an announcement in the house, “I AM GONNA WORK WITH SRK!”

How’s working with brilliant cast including south actors Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupati, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Sunil Grover?
A very educating experience honestly, watching all these phenomenal actors perform gives you a push to learn from them and make yourself better.

I have been following Vijay Sir’s work for a while. Out of so many lovely films, “Super Deluxe” remains my favourite performance. When I saw him for the first time, I saw simplicity and shyness. And when he performs its pure magic.
I was meeting Priya di (Priyamani) after seven years. The last time she saw me I was 15 years old playing her step-daughter in an ad that never came out. After seven years, I meet her again as 22 years old in Jawan and what a cute reunion for us. The sweetest thing was that she remembered a picture that we clicked together and shared on her birthday as a Facebook post. She is one of my absolute favourite people. Working with Sanya and as much as I’m getting to know her, I have so much respect and love for her. She is an absolute sweetheart; her child like energy is my favourite, her humbleness towards everyone around her and her care. After the first schedule I got Covid and she stayed fully in touch making sure I am fine, she offered to send food every day for me and my mother. It was the sweetest gesture ever. I did tell her not to cause just for safety, but she sweetly stayed in touch and made such a big space in my heart.

Nayanthara, the lady superstar, she has a personality and an aura of a star. I loved her energy and charisma. She is one of the strongest personalities I have met.
I did not have a lot of interaction with Sunil sir, but absolutely loved his energy and of course his sense of humour. He is a natural, making everyone laugh around him.

Tell us something about your character in Jawan?
I can’t really reveal anything about my character yet. The only thing that is out with the prevue is that I am part of a girl gang and SRK is our Chief. You can see me with a sniper, wearing my hoodie.

How’s the experience working with SRK?
It’s a dream of every actor. And being so lucky to really get a chance to be around him, work with him and watch him perform first hand is just crazy. I can’t begin to explain the love we have for Shah Rukh sir. So, working with him is like a constant reminder of oh it’s Shah Rukh sir in my head, and then it’s like oh it’s Shah Rukh “sir” now, a sense of familiarity and then a huge smile on my face.

He’s extremely humble, and a very caring human being. I remember it was my first shot with him, and nothing to reveal from the shot, I was holding a lot of props in both my hands, so he sweetly held my props before the shot and fixed my collar because it was looking uneven. I was like in awe and at the same time thanking him, when he just looked and said, “Oh of course, don’t worry about it and just focus on your shot”. One of many such nice moments with him, but this was the first one and the most memorable for me. It made me so comfortable not just as a person but also as an actor.

Working with SRK is anybody’s dream who have seen him during 90’s, when you got the offer how did you react?
I believe when it comes to Shah Rukh sir, I have been a fan since I was in my mother’s womb. No kidding, my mom is the biggest fan of SRK sir and when I was born, for some reason I would never watch anyone apart from him on screen. My parents were shocked to see that I would stop crying, or cribbing as a child whenever he will be on screen. I have not watched anyone else apart from him for the longest period of my life. My parents tried to take me for a film of some other actor and I cried so much that no one got to see the film. Since then, the rule was only Shah Rukh sir in the house. I have watched his films with utmost pleasure and love. I remember doing that slide on my knees that he did in his film “MAI HOON NA”, every day I would just slide all the way from balcony to my room through the lobby and then play “gori gori” song, to dance. I have practised all his stunts from Badshah on my parents, jumping on them, punching them and doing the elbow jab. I have grown up like this so you can imagine my excitement when I got the film. The excitement in me and in my mother was just touching sky. An unbelievable moment of my life.

How was your experience working with Atlee Kumar?
Atlee sir is all heart. Working with him was so wholesome. I’m always looking forward to work with him. His command over his direction and clarity over what he wants and what he is planning is amazing. The impact that he plans to make happens effortlessly. In so many beautiful interactions with sir, I remember his utmost care and love, making sure that nothing is affecting his actors in a negative way. I find it extremely beautiful that he makes sure that everyone who is working on his film, his cast and crew are all treated well, and taken care of them. He expressively shows his affection and gratitude towards his team, it’s admirable. Working with him as his actor was a fun and learning process for me. I am grateful to him for believing in me and showing his trust in me for such a big film filled with a great list of actors.

You have been part of an action film Jawan and Brahmastra. Is there any prep required for the character?
Preparation of action in life for me took place with Brahmastra. Physical training happened for Brahmastra for six months before the shooting started. MMA training with full body strengthening happened. So, for Jawan action rehearsals definitely became easier for me with that kind of training. We had some basic preps with learning how to handle guns before the shoot. Regarding character preparation right now I won’t say much. Action is one of my favourite genres, and as an actor I look forward to get more and more action films, as I thoroughly enjoy it.

What’s your expectation from the film? Do you think this will open your doors and fetch better opportunities in the future?
More than expectation I hope that I have given justice to my role, to my part in the film. And I believe if I did, it will definitely open up doors and opportunities. A film as big as Jawan will be watched all over the world and even outside, there is no limit to the fans of Shah Rukh sir. Me being one myself, right now I just can’t wait for it to be out honestly. Eagerly waiting for 7th September 2023.

What are your future plans?
My plan is simple. Keep working hard and doing good work. Hopefully keep giving performances worth watching. I simply want to be as moving as all the actors I have watched and loved. I want people to cry with me, laugh with me and dance with me in the theatres. I want to give them many reasons to come back and watch me in my next project.

Any learnings from Super Star SRK from the sets of Jawan?
Rehearse till you perfect it. The want and the hunger in him to make every shot right. And also how important rehearsing is, he wouldn’t waste any take, just rehearse it till he gives it in one take. It’s amazing to watch him.

  1. Make everyone feel welcomed and loved.
  2. Always and always smell the best.
  3. Have the utmost patience even after being the super star Shah Rukh Khan.
  4. Give the warmest and best hugs.
    Any fun moment /BTS moment you want to share while working with King Khan?
    I remember it was my first shot with him, and I was holding a lot of props. So, he sweetly held my props before the shot and fixed my collar because it was looking uneven. It made me so comfortable not just as a person but also as an actor.

We all know SRK is very witty, how’s your experience while communicating with him for the first time?
When I was working on Brahmastra I got to know that character of scientist will be played by Shah Rukh sir, and me being a fan from childhood got so excited to know that I’m in the same film as him and will get a chance to meet him. But as characters we never interact in the film so meeting him couldn’t happen. And I was just so sad and I could see that dream crushing in front of my eyes. I couldn’t imagine that my next film will be with him. I told him this that sir you know I’m in Brahmastra too, he said yeah. Infact I remember showing him my 0.5 second shot in the trailer, and remember him looking at my face blankly being like what should I say, then cutely he took a screenshot of my shot on the phone and said I’ll keep this haan, if you want to see I’ll send you this screen shot.

Even though it sounds like a small conversation, for me it was a journey of three years, where I thought I won’t get a chance to meet him, to getting a film with him. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

  • As told to Namita Gupta.