Amitabh Bachchan is happy he is being honoured with the National Award for his performance in Black, but "sad" because Rani Mukerji didn't get the best actress trophy for her role in the movie.
Reacting to reports of a jury member claiming that that they were being pressurised to give him the award, Amitabh says such talk neither embarrasses nor discomforts him.
There's a much talked-about proposed family concert next year. Who will be accompanying you, Abhishek and Aishwarya from the industry
Things are still being finalised. But it looks like Akshay Kumar, Bipasha (Basu), Lara (Dutta), Riteish (Deshmukh) and Shiamak Davar will join us.
Finally the National Award for Black after a year's delay. Delayed triumph tastes sweeter?
The delay was due to certain legal unforeseen circumstances. But eventually the National Award committee came through and the awards have been announced. I'm deeply grateful to the government and the jury for considering me, but more importantly for having considered the film Black and for having given it a separate recognition as well.<b1>
I cannot say about delayed triumph being sweeter. Any triumph is sweet and humbling and honourable. I am grateful and happy.
You sound really pleased.
I'm happy for the film, Sanjay and sad that Rani didn't get an award. She played the main protagonist and all the other performances were guided by her in the film. Our recognition came because of her and her incredible performance.
When she called to express her joy about my National Award, her temperament was just the same as when we saw the first copy of the film together. But we must respect the decision of the jury and acknowledge the person that did get the best actress award, namely, Sarika.
Did the controversies surrounding the award, including a jury member claiming they were being pressurised to give you the award, cause you embarrassment or discomfort?
No it did not. They are the jury and they must have their reasons for their claims and decisions. I think what became awkward was the deliberations of the jury became public because of the court procedure. The body of distinguished people chosen by state authorities to represent a committee are able and accomplished individuals. They know their job. We are no one to question them.
Most of us feel Black is your finest ever. Where would you rate it at this point of time when you've been doing such varied work?
Black rates very highly in my repertoire. I cannot say if it is the finest. I hope the finest is yet to come. As an artiste I would cherish that. It's always a challenge perhaps to better what has been done before.<b2>
Black has arguably been your most lauded film to date. Do you feel it has gone as far as it deserves? Isn't it strange it has been given a National Award for best Hindi film when much of the dialogue is in English?
I am not conversant with the selection procedure of the National Awards so I shall not be able to comment on this. They must have their reasons for doing so.
What changes do you notice in Abhishek after marriage?
Nothing much really! Except the usage of the phrase "Meet my wife" by him, on social occasions!
How's Sarkar 2 shaping up - as intense as the first time?
I think it is shaping well and yes it is as intense as the first one.
Sholay has undergone a complete change... new title and a new name for your character. Would you say it's still Sholay in spirit?
It's Ram Gopal Varma's take on the film. In that respect I believe there is a deep inspiration.