Talking to an English daily, Soumitra Chatterjee said that it is a recognition of his hard work. He said, "I am very happy. It is an emotional moment for me. I thank everybody. It is a recognition of the hard work I have put in for the last 53 years. The people of my country have recognised my toil.”
The Padama Bhushan awardee added, "Right now my mind is on a flashback mode. I would thank directors like Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and actors like Chabi Biswas and Tulsi Chakraborty. It would have been great if I could have handed the award to them. It is on their behalf that I will receive the honour.”
Soumitra Chatterjee started his acting career with Satyajit Ray's movie Apur Sansar, which gave him a break in the industry in 1959. Later, he played the lead roles in most of his classics Sonar Kella, Charulata and Ghare Baire. He has also worked with acclaimed directors like Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar, Aparna Sen, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh.