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Draping the popular cotton skirt (similar to a sarong) over his tux, the two-time Oscar winner joined Bollywood star Deepika Padukone in an impromptu version of the popular “Lungi Dance” track from Disney India’s 2013 blockbuster hit Chennai Express.
This year marked the first time that the IFFAs, Bollywood’s top film awards, were held in the U.S.
Spacey – who earlier addressed an acting master class with top Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra – handed Padukone the Entertainer of the Year award for her string of back-to-back hits last year, including Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ram-Leela.
After presenting the award, Spacey went offstage and took a Bollywood version of the famous Oscar selfie, which included leading Indian stars such as this year’s IIFA hosts, actors Farhan Akhtar and Shahid Kapoor, actress Shabana Azmi, lyricist Javed Akhtar, actress Sonakshi Sinha, her actor father Shatrughan Sinha and Slumdog Millionaire actor Anil Kapoor, among others.
The big winner at the IIFAs was Viacom18’s sports biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, based on the life of sporting legend Milkha Singh, who was also present. The film won best picture, best story, best director (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra), best actor (Farhan Akhtar) and best supporting actress (Divya Dutta). Padukone won best actress for Chennai Express. Veteran actor Shatrughan Sinha was presented a lifetime achievement award by his daughter Sonakshi and the mayor of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn.
John Travolta, an actor better known for his dance moves, hit the IIFA stage with top Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan to show off his signature Saturday Night Fever moves and to accept an award for “most popular all-time international star in India.” Travolta also did his famous Pulp Fiction dance moves accompanied by Priyanka Chopra.
Travolta was all praise for Bollywood, saying, “I recently saw the Romeo and Juliet one, Ram-Leela; in that the first musical number was wow. I love the actress in the film [Deepika Padukone] — she is amazing. … I find Hindi films very original and full of life — they capture your attention unlike any other film. … So yes, I am a big fan of Hindi films.”
Travolta also said that he was approached by Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur for a possible role in the director’s much-awaited Paani, which is set in a futuristic Mumbai where control over water defines power in society.
While picking up his nod for best actor in a negative role for his turn as a gangster in the thriller D-Day, veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor said, “In my young days, when I danced like Travolta and acted well, I was never given any award. But, now when I have turned a bit naughty I am getting awarded.”
Other winners included Roshan’s superhero caper Krrish 3, which bagged best action (Sham Kaushal and Tony Ching Siu Tung) and best special effects. The best male debut award went to actor Dhanush for his turn as a love-struck man in Raanjhanaa, while Vaani Kapoor won best female debut for her turn in the romantic drama Shuddh Desi Romance.
A recording of the IIFA awards will be telecast on 21st Century Fox-owned Star network’s Hindi flagship channel StarPlus at a later date.
Following the launch of the IIFAs at London’s Millennium Dome in 2000, the awards have been held every year at a different location outside India, with past events having taken place in South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia.
You can check out a video of Spacey’s onstage dancing below:
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