Dancing like no one’s watching — it’s an art Mahira picked up while shooting Raees, the actress told NDTV.
“I have danced in the two films I have recently done, but I danced in Ho Mann Jahaan after I came back [from Bollywood] so you see a vast difference between the first film Bin Roye and Ho Mann Jahaan.”
“[The song] ‘Shakar Wandaan Re’ became very popular, and you see a lot of difference [in my dancing]. I danced khul ke [with abandon], and the credit goes to the choreographers in India, my director, Shah Rukh. They kept telling me ‘Just do it, just forget who’s watching!’. We’re not [like that].
Apart from our theatre, drama acting is focused up here [gestures towards face], so we’ve mastered the art of the closeup. We give the right expressions, we cry well, we do confrontations well, but when it comes to body language… you are constricted and cinema is not that,” confessed Mahira.
“Even my director Asim [Raza] would tell me, “Khul ke nacho [dance freely], remember that I’m not taking your closeup, the shot is this wide, and it’s your entire body.”
“So, those were the little little things, or should I say, big, big things, that I learned on the job in India.”
Mahira also picked up some Gujrati lingo while playing a Gujrati girl in Raees. “I didn’t speak Gujrati too much, one line and a few words here and there,” she shared, but one of the words stuck in her memory was ‘dafor’, the Gujrati word for ‘idiot’.