Actor Malaika Arora-Khan is on a high after her debut production venture, Dabangg, bagged top honours in the just-announced National Awards for ‘Wholesome Entertainer’. The film had swept the popular awards for Best Film earlier this year, but this recognition, she concedes, will up the expectations around the sequel that is currently being developed.
“Ever since we announced our plans to take the story forward, there’s been plenty of excitement. Now, we’ll have to work even harder to ensure that Dabanng 2 matches up to the original,” admits Malaika, likening the award to the icing on the cake after the film did business worth Rs 140 crore. “We’re waiting for Arbaaz (Khan, co-producer),” she says. “We didn’t start the movie with awards in mind. So every award was a surprise, but a National Award is the biggest win for sure.”
Dabangg has become synonymous with Malaika’s item song Munni badnaam hui… Viewers in many theatres insisted on an encore before letting the movie play further. Maliaka admits to seeing this firsthand once in Mumbai: “Now it feels great that I've done a song in a National Award-winning movie.”
Will she return with another charbuster in the sequel? She says, “I have no idea, only Arbaaz can answer this question.”