Zaira Wasim received rave reviews and a National Award for her performance in her debut film Dangal, but the actor said the response she is getting for her latest release Secret Superstar is more overwhelming.
The young star, who celebrated her 17th birthday yesterday, said people are appreciating her performance in the Aamir Khan-produced film and the shows in her home state, Jammu and Kashmir are running houseful.
"I've got more messages from people for this film than 'Dangal'. People have given immense love to the film. My best birthday gift is the love and appreciation my film is getting. I am very happy and overwhelmed. In fact in Jammu, theatres are running houseful, my friends couldn't get tickets," Zaira said.
The actor said the best response she has received for her performance as 'Insiya' is from her father.
"I went with my parents to watch the screening for the cast and crew. Mom and dad were watching it together, while I sat at a distance and was out even before the film was over.
"My cousins later told me that my father was crying throughout (the film). When he got out of the theatre, he had tears in his eyes. I had never seen him cry before. When he saw me, he hugged and kissed me on the forehead. That was the best compliment for me," she said.
Written and directed by Advait Chandan, "Secret Superstar" chronicles the story of a child who aspires to be a singer.
For Advait, getting appreciation from the audience and from the industry biggies like Rajkumar Hirani and Kabir Khan was "surreal".
"Everything seems surreal to me now. The fact that it has been declared a hit after the weekend is very exciting to me. I've been visiting theatres to watch the film with the audience and the experience has been fantastic. To see a packed hall laughing, crying, clapping to your film is just very humbling," he said.