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It’s Mahira Khan opposite SRK in Raees

Mahira-KhanThe Pakistani actress will make her Bollywood debut with Raees.After months of speculation, Mirror has learnt the identity of Shah Rukh Khan’s leading lady in his upcoming film Raees. It’s Mahira Khan, the Pakistani actress who made her film debut opposite singer-actor Atif Aslam in Shoaib Mansoor’s 2011 social drama, Bol. The stunner was introduced to Indian audiences recently with the TV show, Humsafar. She stars opposite current heartthrob Fawad Khan in the show which premiered on Zindagi channel. A source close to the development told Mirror that the makers were looking for an “international” face instead of a familiar Bollywood name, which explains how Mahira bagged the coveted role.

“She plays SRK’s wife in the film. He’s a gangster based in Gujarat while Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the cop who traps him in Mumbai. It’s a complex role and both the film’s director Rahul Dholakia and producers, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, believe she is perfect for the part.”

The source added that the makers met the actress in the last week of November when she flew down to Mumbai to discuss the project. With the cast in place, the film goes on floors in Mumbai in February 2015. Certain portions will be filmed in the interiors of Gujarat.

She visited Mumbai last month after her television serial Humsafar gained popularity and dropped subtle hints of the Hindi filmmakers whom she may consider working with. Obviously, the ones who were the quickest to move in were producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, who finalised the VJ-turned-actress for ‘Raees’ being directed by Rahul Dholakia. The film has Shah Rukh Khan playing a don and is likely to have Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a cop. A source said that SRK had dropped in at the audition to meet Mahira.

The actress is married to her college sweetheart Ali Askari. And though she is based out of Karachi, the articulate girl with the porcelain complexion travels extensively. India will be a long haul destination for now, we guess.

We contacted director Rahul Dholakia and producer Ritesh Sidhwani for a comment but they chose not to respond.

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