Sonam Kapoor on attending National Awards: ‘My dad will be my date’

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Sonam Kapoor has been awarded the Special Mention for Neerja (for A convincing performance of a real-life icon) in the National Film Awards. The awards is given for outstanding performance in the field of entertainment including films, acting, music or writing and the recipients are awarded with certificate of merit. Nine years ago, Sonam’s father Anil Kapoor was given the Special Jury award and the then 21-year-old Sonam had received it on his behalf. This year, it will be Anil escorting her. She talks about the special mention…
My dad will accompany me as my date. I remember, for Gandhi My Father, we had to go a day before for the rehearsals and I had gone on stage with him. Dad got the best actor award for Pukar (2000). I remember that we all went as a family to collect that award. If I attend this year, I am obviously taking my family with me. I hope my Neerja director Ram (Madhvani) will be also there. All credit goes to him.
It came as a huge shock to me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I am still in shock. I just knew Neerja had won. I didn’t know that Special Mention is a full-on award till Shabana aunty (Azmi) and Anupam uncle (Kher) explained how important it was.
You have been recognised for your acting at a young age. Do you stand vindicated?
It’s a great validation. Having said that I will add that I’ve never let success or failure go to my head. But I’m completely overwhelmed by the honour. What was really surreal about the whole things was that the last shot of Neerja — her last rites was shot on the Narmada river in Maheshwar. It was on my first day of shoot for Padman at the same place in Maheshwar that I heard that I had received the Special Merit.
I was shooting for Padman the entire night and my team gave me the news. My mom and Rhea were the first to call, followed by Mr Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan among others.It was really gracious of her, though I’m sure she laughed at the rumours of a friction between us as much as I did. It would have to be the climax, as the situation was overwhelming. Being in that space only reminded one of what she must have faced.
Meanwhile Veteran actor Anil Kapoor says his daughter Sonam is very fortunate to have been chosen for a Special Mention at the 64th National Film Awards. And now the family is looking forward to the day when she will receive the honour from President Pranab Mukherjee next month.
Anil was present at the IIFA voting weekend here on Friday when he was asked about his sentiments on Sonam getting a National Award for her performance in Neerja.He said: “I am very happy. I was discussing it with my family that she is so fortunate. In such a short span of time, at such a young age, with such a less number of films, she has got this recognition from the highest award in our country. Besides, the film has been loved by all. “All the departments of ‘Neerja’ were excellent. But Sonam was Neerja and Neerja was Sonam. I am very happy that not just the film, but even Sonam has received a National Award. I am looking forward to the May 3 event when Sonam will be on dais receiving an award from the President of this country.” Neerja was named the Best Hindi Film for the 64th National Awards.
Based on air hostess Neerja Bhanot, who displayed the utmost courage to deal with armed terrorists and sacrificed her life to save others, the film was appreciated for its performances by Sonam and Shabana Azmi, who played her mother on screen.
Anil has himself received two National Awards – one in the Best Actor category for Pukar and a Special Jury award as producer of Gandhi, My Father.
The actor was happy about being a part of the IIFA voting weekend, where film celebrities cast their vote for winners of the International Indian Film Academy Awards. This time, the gala will take place in New York. “As far as my involvement is there, IIFA is like family as I have associated with it for many years. Being in New York, it involves high expectations, more hard work, large-scale grandeur and much more.”

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