I can recall my London days today. After the screening of Fashion, I immediately called Madhur Bhandarkar and asked him to connect me to Priyanka Chopra. It was around 9 pm when I got a call from Madhur, and a voice from the other end of the receiver said, "Hello Devansh. Hope you liked the film." My answer, "There is some magic, either in Priyanka or in the ramp. The ramp gets you the Miss World crown and the same ramp gets you the best ever role you've played ever since you've made your debut. What a coincidence!
Today I say that there is a similarity between Madhur's Fashion and Priyanka's style. Both possess quality. Priyanka is the unforgettable, ultimate accessory of Fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure." In the same breath, I continue, "It deserves a five star"....and the rest they say is history! And the moment you're disconnected with her, this starts - We can't believe that body. Look how beautifully smooth it is - like mercury dripping down a playground slide. And with her unstoppable success, touchwood, she will not need to go to any loan lenders.
So there's still time for us to stand up and salute the queen of acting, in other words - India's newest National Award winning actress - Priyanka Chopra. So at half past midnight, a few hours after the official announcement of the winners, UK's Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama's London correspondent goes in a flashback mood with the actress and recalls Fashion, Madhur, Kangana and getting up in the US as a National Award winner.
A very good morning to you Priyanka and congratulations on winning the National Award. Hope you had a good night sleep.
Thank you very much, thank you. I haven't slept the whole night because the news that I won the National Award was given to me at about 4.30 in the morning US time. I need some sleep now (laughs).
I'm sure all this must've taken you back to your Fashion days.
Well yeah! It also puts pressure on me as to what next (laughs). I spoke to Madhur and Kangna and everything felt so nostalgic because it was never something that we thought while making the film. Yes, we knew that Madhur was a National Award winner.
So it's right in saying that you're on cloud nine.
Yes, absolutely. I am on cloud nine.
Have you got something much more than what you've asked for?
You know, that's a very strange question because whenever we work at something, we try to achieve the best. But I've worked bloody hard to be where I am. I've done it all by myself and with the help of my parents and friends. By God's grace I've got what I deserved.
Will things change from here on Priyanka? In terms of your career choices, accepting films, refusals, etc?
The National Award is the biggest honour an Indian actor can receive. This kind of an award gets more significance because it's not only Hindi movies but regional movies too. There are some fantastic regional films that have come out this year as well. That's why it means so much more. So yes, things will change to an extent that I'll be keeping myself more busy now (laughs). What can't change is the fact that such awards cannot be tampered with.
And when will this hangover end?
(Laughs) Well, that's what Kangana and I were discussing yesterday that to win a National Award in our twenties is quite something. The hangover is going to stay for quite sometime I'm sure (laughs).
How do you go about now?
To win the National Award is all together another feeling. I don't want to take on any pressure at the moment because I've always been instinctive about my films. They've been good for me and bad for me sometimes, and I've taken decisions which have always been out of the box and pushed the envelope a little bit. I like mixing the bag which is something I'll keep on doing. At the moment, I'm doing Anjaana Anjaani, a romantic comedy. Then I'm doing Vishal Bhardwaj's next film which is a black comedy and one of the most difficult parts of my life. Then I'm doing Don 2 which will be an action flick.
Madhur is the only director in our industry to have won the maximum National Awards with minimum films in his kitty.
Yes, you're right. First and foremost, the films and subjects he picks are so intriguing. The plot and the story lines that he develops are so fantastic that they are bound to be films which intrigue people. He is one of my various friends and filmmakers who I admire immensely. I give a lot of credit to Madhur because I was so close to not doing this film and he was confident that I could pull it off. When he came to me, I was only three year old into this industry and I never thought I could've pulled it off. He said, 'If you don't do it, then I won't do it.' It's a film that Ronnie convinced me to do and the rest is history.
Are you still in a state of shock? Does it make you believe that we are talking about your National Award? Are you biting your fingers?
(Laughs) Well yeah! I'm going to be biting my fingers for at least a week man! Till I go to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, I'll be biting my fingers (laughs)
And finally....where are you going to head for a mad night out in the US?
(Laughs) Well, I don't think I'll be partying because I've got shoot early in the morning. But my crew of Anjaana Anjaani are waiting with bated breath for me to come on the sets, now that they've found out about my National Award. They're too excited and I might probably be hanging out with them later in the night to celebrate my success.