Meet Haleem Khan, a man who created magic by turning into a woman

Meet Haleem Khan who has just signed up for a Telugu movie where he plays both the  male and female protagonists - and for a reason

Published: 25th October 2016 11:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2016 04:28 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: From putting his hometown Ongole on the world map by redefining Kuchipudi, to breaking stereotypes and playing with expressions, dancer Haleem Khan has done it all. Although he has already won accolades from across the world for his unique body of work, this time he wants to throw a surprise at his fans with a full-fledged movie -  Aame Athedaithe.

“A friend of mine informed me about this role, which he thought was tailor-made for me. My audition was rather strange. I was asked to walk till the end of the road and back to the office. He immediately said I was selected and the film went on the floors soon. I play the lead and also the female character simultaneously. I could shoot effortlessly because of my experience in dance,” says the 32-year-old who teaches Kuchipudi for a living in Hyderabad.

Though Haleem was offered a lot of roles on playing female or gay characters, he did not take it up because he felt it was demeaning to the LGBTQ community. “I have rejected 25 films so far. Had those films had some substance and relevance, I would have given it a thought. This movie did not have anything  derogatory agains them. It’s a comic movie. I play an ambitious guy from a smalltown, trying to fulfill the dreams of my father (which I am in real life too). The female role has a comic element. Tanikella Bharani is playing my dad. Chira Shree, who is debuting in Tollywood, is playing my love interest. The audio was launched on a grand scale by Dasari Narayana,” he informs. Haleem believes that Hyderabad brought him a lot of luck, ever since he moved to the city 16 years ago. His ability to transform and weild his magicwand in terms of expressions and dwelling into the character is what has made him an actor today.

Haleem was recently interviewed for Panchajanya magazine, which is edited by LK Advani. Les Johnson, a German author, who was inspired by Haleem, learnt the life, art and struggles of the skilled man. He has drafted a book on his autobiography. “He has finished writing the book. A few publications have come forward to publish it. He has plans of making the book a movie too,” he laughs. Haleem’s life story is straight from a Tollywood film. He eloped from his house to pursue dance and today he travels places to dance. He is sought-after for TedXs, INK talks and to campuses.


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