64th National Film Awards 2017: Akshay Kumar deserved to win, says Priyadarshan

Priyadarshan defended Akshay Kumar's Best Actor win for Rustom at the 64th National Awards, over other contenders like Aamir Khan (Dangal) and Manoj Bajpayee (Aligarh)

FP Staff April 08, 2017 11:47:11 IST
64th National Film Awards 2017: Akshay Kumar deserved to win, says Priyadarshan

Priyadarshan, the chairperson of the feature film section for the 64th National Film Awards, says he does not understand why people are questioning his frequent collaborator Akshay Kumar's best actor win.

64th National Film Awards 2017 Akshay Kumar deserved to win says Priyadarshan

Priyadarshan and Akshay Kumar. Images from Facebook

The filmmaker has collaborated with Akshay in films like Hera Pheri, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhaag, Bhool Bhulaiya, De Dana Dan and Khatta Meetha. Many in social media are attributing Akshay's win to his close proximity to Priyadarshan.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Priyadarshan said that Akshay Kumar deserved the award, so it was given to him. "There were a total of 38 jury members with me on this. How can you question the decision of so many people?" he asked. He also confirmed that he is not working on any film with Akshay at the moment.

The director says last year Ramesh Sippy was head of the jury in 2016 and no one questioned his good friend Amitabh Bachchan's best actor win for Piku, so why should he and Akshay be subjected to such allegations? "I have heard of all that and I will answer it in a simple way. When Ramesh Sippy was jury head, Amitabh Bachchan won. When Prakash Jha was head of jury, Ajay Devgn won. So none questioned at that time (sic). So why all these questions are cropping up today?" Priyadarshan asked.

The filmmaker also clarified that Akshay's performance in Rustom and Airlift were considered by the jury during the selection process. However, as only the name of one film could be mentioned, the list featured the courtroom drama Rustom, he said.

"Akshay was given the best actor on the basis of his performance in two films — Airlift and Rustom. It was the jury's decision. One performance was dramatic and one was realistic. But according to the rule book, only one film can be mentioned and Rustom was mentioned in the list. But the award recognises his performance in both the movies," he added.

When asked why Akshay and he did not collaborate on a film about AIDS, which Aamir Khan first rejected and then Akshay Kumar was approached for, Priyadarshan said that neither did the film and that it was finally made in Tamil with Prakash Raj in the lead.

It was widely believed that Aamir Khan's performance in Dangal would make him a top contender for the Best Actor at the 64th National Film Awards 2017. However, Priyadarshan told Mirror that since Aamir hadn't accepted his award for Taare Zameen Par, and had made it evident he was not interested in the honour, it was felt, "Why spoil it for some other actor who stood as good a chance of winning the award?"

With inputs from PTI.

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