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He has given innumerable hits and some great performances in a career spanning over two decades, but has never won a national award. But it all changed for Akshay Kumar on Friday afternoon (April 7) when he won the national award for Best Actor for Rustom.

Known to be a bankable actor, Akshay has become a favourite with fans and directors in the last few years. And his performance in 2016 film Rustom has won him his first national award.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Khiladi Kumar expressed his happiness over the national award win. He said, “It is great news. National Film awards are the most prestigious awards in the country. It is a moment of pride for sure. The first reaction, honestly, was if this was a late April Fool’s joke (laughs)! Actually, I am still trying to process this win, it is a mix of many emotions – surprise, happiness and, most prominently, gratitude to the jury, makers of the film, my parents and of course the beloved fans.”

Last year has been great for Akshay for the kind of films he did. He added that he had a fantastic 2016 but it seems there was more to come his way. “I don’t think anything can top this National Award win,” he told the daily.

Akshay, who won his first national award, said that he has been honest towards his work. “Itna keh sakta hun mai ki ye award bhi maine imandari se jita hai. Maine aaj tak cheating nahi ki. Neither have I ever made a call to anyone to win an award nor have given money or done favours for it,” he added.

He also took to Twitter to thank his fans. He said, “Rustom was a very special role to play. I would like to dedicate this award to my parents, my family and especially my lovely wife who often jokes that it is good that you have stopped going to award shows as you never get an award – khaer, der aaye, durust aaye. Kuch toh aaye.”

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