King Khan talks about his next venture with Rahul Dholakia. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who will star with Pakistani actress Mahira Khan and acclaimed Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the forthcoming film Raees, is all praise for them, and says now he would have to pull up his socks to perform as well as the duo.


“Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan are there in the film (Raees). Both of them are very accomplished actors. I think the cast is really wonderful,” Shah Rukh said here Monday at the launch of Dabboo Ratnani’s annual calendar. ”Now I would have to excel and perform like them,”, added the actor, who is set to join the film’s shoot by March end.

Mahira, who became popular in India with her successful TV show Humsafar, will be seen as Shah Rukh’s leading lady in Raees. Shah Rukh has already met Mahira and seen her television work. He is quite impressed with her talent. ”Rahul (Dholakia) liked her. She suited the film a lot.. I have seen a little bit part of her television stuff. I have met her and she is marvellous actor,” the 49-year-old said.

To be directed by Dholakia, Raees is being co-produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani.

Shah Rukh Khan: I would have to excel and perform like Mahira Khan

Mahira came to limelight with her performance in Bol in 2011. The actor visited Mumbai last month after her television serial Humsafar gained popularity in India. Mega producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar were the quickest to move in, finalising the female lead for Raees which is being directed by Rahul Dholakia, who won a national award for his film Parzania. Sidhwani took to social networking site Twitter to share the news and wrote: “Our leading lady in #Raees @themahirakhan.”

The film has Shahrukh Khan playing a Gujarati 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, according to the ToI.

The makers of the film have finalised Mahira as her looks and personality perfectly matched the character that was penned by the director. Further, 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 casting of the leading lady of this film has been a mystery for a while with earlier reports suggested that Sonam Kapoor and very recently Kirti Sanon had bagged the big role in a Shahrukh Khan starrer film.