How a chance encounter with Salman Khan bagged ex-army officer Sangay Tsheltrim his Radhe role

A former army officer and royal bodyguard from Bhutan, Sangay Tsheltrim was picked up for a role in Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai by Salman Khan after meeting him on the Dabangg set.

“I am still in daze. From the time the Radhe trailer launched, I am just enjoying each moment,” shares Sangay Tsheltrim, a former Bhutanese army officer, who made his Bollywood debut with Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. Interestingly it was a chance encounter with Salman Khan that opened the doors of Hindi films for him. In an exclusive chat with, Sangay, who hails from Bhutan, shared more about his journey and relationship with ‘Salman sir’.

Wanting to represent his country in fitness competitions internationally, Sangay took a voluntary retirement from the army in 2013. After winning numerous awards, he decided to launch a gym in his hometown and also started acting. In talks with filmmaker Haider Khan for an OTT film, Sangay came to Mumbai. “One night he told me he was going to meet Salman Khan on the Dabangg set and would I be interested to come along,” recalled the actor.

What happened next was something Sangay hadn’t even imagined in his dreams. Sharing that Salman is one of the biggest superstars in Bhutan, it was magical to see him in person. He was also impressed seeing a big set with more than 500 people around, “It looked more like a mela”, he remarked.



A post shared by Sangay Tsheltrim (@sangaytsheltrim)



A post shared by Sangay Tsheltrim (@sangaytsheltrim)


Sangay shared that it was a night shoot, and Salman was kind enough to give him time between his scenes. He even offered him dinner and tea, and when refused, Salman asked, “Protein shake?”, shared the young actor. He added that the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor really made him comfortable, and they spoke on a common subject — ‘fitness and bodybuilding’. “He sat and spoke to me for more than an hour, and only when he was asked to come on the floors did he step out. It was so kind of him to give that respect and love to a stranger,” shared Sangay. Before leaving the set, he asked Salman for a picture, which the star happily obliged. “I shared it on Instagram at three in the night, and it received maximum likes on my profile back then. Everyone in Bhutan was talking about it,” he says.

Two months after that chance meeting, Haider Khan called him again, and this time saying that Salman Khan has an offer for him. He immediately packed his bags and came back to Mumbai. He met Salman and the Radhe team, and before he could fathom what was happening, he was already on board. Sangay plays Lota, a villain, who’s part of Randeep Hooda‘s gang.



A post shared by Sangay Tsheltrim (@sangaytsheltrim)


Sangay Tsheltrim shared that while it has been a couple of years since that meeting, the bond between him and Salman remains the same. Even when he has worked with him, he shared that he has only has respect for him. “I can never treat him like a friend or colleague. I cannot talk to him like that. I have very high regard for him,” he shared, adding that given his army training, he still calls a senior ‘sir’ and thus Salman Khan will always be ‘Salman sir’ for him.

“The respect is quite mutual as I have seen how he introduces me to everyone as a former army officer. When I had come to Mumbai to sign Radhe, he also assured that I understood how the movie business works. He would ask me to be on the Dabangg set and even took me to the Bigg Boss set. He respects me and I have never felt like an outsider in his presence.” Sangay added that he worked hard on the film because he did not want to let Salman down. “He gave a newcomer such a big opportunity. I wanted to prove he made the right choice.”



A post shared by Sangay Tsheltrim (@sangaytsheltrim)



A post shared by Sangay Tsheltrim (@sangaytsheltrim)


Talking about the reaction back home, Sangay Tsheltrim shared that he already has a massive fan following in the country after he played a cop in a film Singhe in Bhutan. Now, his presence in Radhe has only added to his popularity. “Everyone has watched the film there and the kids are so excited,” he said.

While fans have showered the film with love, it also received a lot of criticism and trolling. When asked about the same, the actor shared that it doesn’t matter to him. He also shared that people who love Salman have liked the film, it’s only the ones who want to pull him down have spread the negativity. “The film clocked 4.2 million views on day one, that’s a record in itself. How does a lakh or two trolls matter then? Whatever may happen, Salman sir makes money for the producers and entertains his fans. That’s what is important. I also have people in Bhutan, who tried to punch me down, saying that I have a minuscule role. However, they fail to see the bigger picture. I have learnt from the mega star Salman Khan to not let these things affect oneself.”

Sangay is now looking forward to Rohingya, a film he shot with Haider Khan, where he plays an army officer. He shared that he was waiting for Radhe’s release so that people can realise his mettle and worth. “At the end of the day honestly, I am still a soldier at heart. Whatever is happening with me was never planned. I just hope I can do some great work and make people proud,” he concluded.

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai recently released in international markets and on ZEE5’s pay per view platform ZEEPlex and DTH operators.

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