After the post-award party, an excited Anil gushed from his hotel room, "It was an exhilarating moment for India! There's a fantastic vibe about the film. Hollywood personalities have loved the film. We all expected Slumdog to win a couple of awards but four is mind-blowing!
Stars like Emma Thompson and Steven Spielberg have loved the film. People have been so encouraging. They have loved the underdogs and the multitude of emotions in it of love, hope, grit and determination. It was awesome to hear AR Rahman saying on stage after he won the best music award, 'This goes to the 1 billion people of India.' It was Hollywood and Bollywood coming together."
Anil says, "It was a dream come true for me. There were so many Hollywood greats present: Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Emma Thompson all who had come in the hope of winning awards for their films it was one of the biggest star turnouts ever and Slumdog won! Not only has the film achieved much international recognition and appreciation, but I also got to meet my all-time Hollywood favourites. The whos who of Hollywood was there. I was introduced to two of my favourite directors Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese through Emma Thompson. Emma and I came on the same flight from London to LA and we got along well."
What did Spielberg say to Anil when he met him? "He told me he liked Slumdog and added, 'You have done well, Anil!' I also spoke a lot to Tom Cruise who was on stage to present the Best Film Award (Drama) to us. After the awards, we went backstage and had a chat about Indian and international cinema. I told him that people in India admire and love his work. Tom said he's dying to come to India. Emma introduced me to Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Di Caprio too. This was the first time when I got to actually meet and talk to such icons.
I couldn't believe it! When I was staying in Chembur I used to watch their films on VHS cassettes agar milta tha toh pagal ho jata tha and would show off to my friends there, ki mera paas film hai. And on Sunday night, I got to meet these icons in the flesh. It was an unforgettable moment!"
After the ceremonies, Anil, who normally goes to bed by 11 pm stayed awake partying the night away till 4 am with the Slumdog unit: Danny, Freida, Rahman and Dev Patel. Anil says, "There were many parties afterwards after the one-on-one interviews with the world media after the awards in cubicles.
Sunita couldn't come as she's with Sonam for a shoot but I was in touch with my family right through the awards ceremony. In fact, I was so excited that I left my cellphone with the Indian number back in my room. When I came back it had vibrated so much with so many calls that it fell off the table and broke!"
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