Lehar Khan on working with Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan: Beyond my imagination

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Lehar Khan, the youngest actor of Shah Rukh Khan‘s Jawan opened up about her experience on the sets, with Hindustan Times. Not only this, she also talked about the difficult phase in her life when she almost gave up her acting career. Lehar plays Kalki, one of Azad’s six girls in the film, alongside Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Girija Oak and Aaliyah Qureishi.

Actor Lehar Khan is a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan.

Directed by Atlee, Jawan stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role alongside Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara.

Jawan is ruling the box office numbers. How you see the success?

Lehar Khan: I’m not trying to brag about it but it was expected. (laughs)

Is it because of the moral lesson hidden in the film?

Lehar Khan: One of the reasons (behind success) was Shah Rukh Khan itself, of course. But, everything in the film leaves you curious; you want to find out what happens next. It’s been surreal for me. Even before the release, I was like ‘Is this really happening?’

Go on and tell us how has the Jawan shoot experience been…

Lehar Khan: Everyone was warm on sets. Everyone was passionate about what they were making. They were in this together. Going on sets, being a fan of Shah Rukh sir, was itself a very surprising and overwhelming moment. I have grown up watching his films and dancing to his songs. My dream was to meet him someday, but it turned into something much more as his co-actor. I got to meet him, spend time with him and even dance. This was beyond my imagination and a dream come true, Atlee sir made it happen.

What about Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi? Your Jawan girls are also making quite a buzz…

Lehar Khan: Vijay sir and Nayanthara mam were very sweet and shy personalities. Vijay sir had a particular process on sets, I was intrigued by that. When he was on set, there are a lot of things he would come up with and pitch it to Atlee. That is something I have learned from him.

Nayanthara mam has a strong aura; very captivating. I love my girl gang so much. We, six of us, have an unbreakable bond. There’s so much love; this is not going anywhere. This is friendship for life. I should mention Mukesh Chabbra sir who has brought us together.

What about your interaction with Shah Rukh Khan?

Lehar Khan: I remember him asking ‘Which school you were in? When I said Manav Sthali, he told me that he used to play on the ground. He was from Rajendra Nagar and was like ‘It used to be my neighborhood. I used be there for a lot of sports camps and all.’ Suddenly there was a connection. We talked about several things. It was usually that all six of us used to be around him. He used to offer us whatever he would eat in between the shoot.

How is Shah Rukh like with his food? Is he diet conscious?

Lehar Khan: No, I haven’t seen much consciousness about his diet. He doesn’t eat too much. He would usually munch something a little bit like makhana. I have not seen him on an extreme diet. He quite chilled in that way.

Tell me about your journey so far… How was it from being on a cable TV show to bagging big ticket films like Brahmastra and Jawan…

Lehar Khan: My journey started in the opposite way. I started as a child artist but I didn’t know if I wanted to become an actor. In my case, acting chose me. I was into dancing and going ahead with that after Kids Kids Dhoom. From there I got a short film which I took at 11 just for the experience. From there My name was given for Jalpari. When Jalpari happened, I became a proper child actor. It was still an occasional job for me until Parched.

Leena Yadav mam called for Parched, and that experience changed my understanding of acting. The whole process made me fall in love with acting. I had people like Radhika Apte,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sayani Gupta who really pushed. Later when I told my parents that acting was what I wanted, they just wanted to shift to Mumbai. I completed my 11th and 12th in Mumbai and while doing that I ended up getting Brahmastra, which was a huge film of 2022.

When Brahmastra happened, I was like ‘Am I ready for this?’ but it opened me up. I got to know how big productions work and made me comfortable. Working with Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Ayan Mukerji was something else. After this I got Dahan and now Jawan.

I remember reading about a difficult time in your just started career when you wanted to quit. Do you want to talk about it?

Lehar Khan: It was regardless of the experiences I had. During covid-19 I lost my father. Because of this there came a point in my life where I was really low. My father was the happiest seeing me wherever I was reaching as an actor. There came a point when I became that low but it was him who brought me out. It was just then that I decided that I’d never quit. I know wherever he is watching me from he is proud and happy that I am following my dream. I think it’s him who is pushing me when I am working.

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