Actor Mohanlal was conferred with India’s third-highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan here on Monday.
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Padma awards on 56 of this year’s 112 recipients at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. The 58-year-old actor, affectionately referred to as ‘Lalettan’ by his fans, had won the Padma Shri in 2001.
President Kovind presents Padma Bhushan to Shri Viswanathan Mohanlal for Art. A renowned film actor from Kerala, Shri Mohanlal has acted in about 350 films, in a career spanning 40 years pic.twitter.com/SZhdEfj49w
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 11, 2019
Responding to the announcement, Mohanlal thanked the government and fans for their support.
Speaking to Asianet News, he said, “I feel very happy, proud that having worked for 40 years in films, the people who have worked along with me, stood with me and the viewers, I offer my thanks. I’m in Hyderabad for the shooting of Priyan’s Marakkar…. Last time, when I got the Padma Shri, then too I was in Hyderabad while I was working on Priyan’s (Priyadarshan) cinema Kakkakuyil. I see it as a big endorsement. I wish to offer my thanks to everybody on this occasion.”
On being asked what kind of fillip this kind of an award will give the actor going forward, he said, “Every award definitely gives a lot of energy. Surely, this award has been given taking into consideration my body of work in cinema so far and I have utmost respect for the award. Definitely, this award will act as a big inspiration in my journey ahead.”
The actor is a two-time winner of the National Award for Best Actor. He won his first National Award for Best Actor for Bharatham in 1991 and the second for Vanaprastham in 1999.
In a prolific career spanning four decades, Mohanlal has worked in over 300 films across Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages.
The actor is currently busy with Lucifer and Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham. While Lucifer is being helmed by actor Prithviraj and it happens to be his maiden directorial, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham is being directed by Priyadarshan on a big budget. Lucifer is touted to be a summer release this year and Marakkar is slated for release early next year.
The Centre announced 14 recipients for the Padma Bhushan, including former Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Nambi Narayanan, former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda, actor Mohanlal, mountaineer Bachendri Pal and Lok Sabha MP Hukmdev Narayan Yadav.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and several other ministers were also present at the ceremony.