Actor Irfan Khan, who essayed the lead role in Asif Kapadia's The Warrior, was in Matheran, off Mumbai, attending an acting workshop when the BAFTA Awards were declared.
Khan is scheduled to act in Vishal Bharadwaj's Miya Maqbool, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Tabu, and based on Shakespeare's Macbeth. The Matheran workshop is meant to help the actors know the team better and prepare them for their roles.
With no access to the Internet or television, and his cell frequently going off network, Khan had no idea about the fate of his film. When some congratulatory messages started trickling in through SMS, he was impatient to know what it was all about.
When rediff.com got through to him and broke the news, he was thrilled. "Has the film won any awards? How many? Can you tell me which awards we have bagged? What about Devdas?" he asked, sounding excited. "It is such a good feeling to know The Warrior is being appreciated, that people have liked our work," he said.
"I was expecting the film to win. Why should I deny that?" he asks. "I hope the awards will help the film reach out to more people. We need better audiences for such films too."
Just a few days ago, Khan had asked rediff.com why there was so little talk of the upcoming BAFTAs in the Indian media. A day before Shyam Ramsay's Dhund released (he played a negative character in the film), he had said he was actually looking forward to the BAFTAs.
Khan agrees he was disappointed when the film was rejected at the Oscars because the film was in Hindi and so could not be considered a British entry. "We did not expect the Oscar committee to act in such manner. We did expect better understanding of cinema on their part."
"That dampened my spirits. Else I might have gone for the BAFTA ceremony," he said. "I want to congratulate Asif Kapadia. I will be speaking to him soon."
"My schedule is really tight till May. I will be all tied up with shooting for three films. Else, I would have loved to meet with Kapadia and the team," he added.
"By the way, thanks for informing me," he added.