By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) The American company Film Independent which honours independent films and filmmakers across the world has announced nominations for its 2008 Spirit Awards. And one of the contenders is Indian actor Irrfan Khan.
He is rubbing shoulders in the best supporting actor category with the stalwarts of world cinema like Steve Zahn, Marcus Carl Franklin and Kene Holliday for his performance as Tabu's silently progressive husband in "The Namesake".
The Spirit Awards, held a few days prior to the Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles, are usually seen as a precursor to the Oscars.Speaking to IANS from New York Irrfan could barely contain his surprise. "Mira Nair got the hugely prestigious Gotham award, and I was there to watch this historic moment. Barely 24 hours later comes this announcement about me.
"The Spirit award is to me every bit as prestigious as the Oscars. Unlike the Oscars it's a totally independent award based entirely on merit rather than lobbying. So whoever gets nominated gets in there solely by merit.
"I'm honoured to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Don Cheadle, Frank Langella and Philip Seymour Hoffman (all nominated in the best-actor category). Philip is my favourite actor in the world."
In fact, Irrfan met his favourite actor after the Gotham awards at a party Monday. "His versatility has always taken my breath away. He started with just two scenes in 'Scent Of A Woman'. Somewhere I identify with him. When I met him it was a dream come true."