At 4 am in New York on Saturday, the last thing Priyanka Chopra was expecting to hear was that she had won her first National Film Award. She jumped out of bed in sheer joy when she got the news. "It feels soooo fantastic! It’s 5 in the morning here and my phone has been ringing non-stop since about an hour," the Celeb and the City columnist of HT City said over the phone from New York, where she has been shooting for Siddharth Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani.
The 27-year-old has won her first ever National Film Award for Madhur Bhandarkar’s 2008 hit film Fashion. "When Madhur approached me for this film, I was terrified about how complex the character was. But I am glad I did it," she said.
Though Priyanka has already won several awards for her portrayal of a struggling model in the film, she says the National Award is most special. "This is a National Award! I was just not expecting this, especially because there are several regional films and actors competing. One can’t keep track of the nominations at all. But this feels great". "Yaayyy, Rashtrapati Bhawan, here I come," the actress posted on her Twitter account soon after.
— Radhika Bhirani, IANS
Other ecstatic winners
Kangna Raut (Best Supporting actress; Fashion): This is a moment I’ll cherish forever.
Arjun Rampal (Best Supporting actor; Rock On): I have learnt that there is no substitute to hard work and I could not have asked for more.
Ritesh Sidhwani (Producer, Best Film, Rock On): The national awards are like the Oscars for us, I am on top of the world.
Siddharth Roy Kapoor (CEO, UTV — 5 of their films have been awarded): It is a very fulfilling and an exhilarating feeling.
Neeraj Pandey, (Best debut director; A Wednesday): I’m really humbled to receive such an honour.
— Neha Sharma and Minakshi Saini