Tamil star Suriya shared the Best Actor award- the Rajat Kamal Award- with Ajay Devgn in the 68th edition of the National Film Award, bagging the prestigious prize for his role in the Tamil drama film Soorarai Pottru. The film was also declared the Best Feature Film by the jury, bringing twice the joy to the 47-year-old. The award marks his first National Award, adding to the accolades he has collected over the years. He is the latest actor from South India to receive the honour, joining Kamal Hassan, Mammootty and Dhanush.

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While Hassan holds the record for most Best Actor awards- with 4- Mammooty and Dhanush follow with three and two, respectively. Hassan for his roles in Moondram Pinai (1982), Nayakan (1987), Thevar Magan (1992) and Indian (1996). Mammooty has three Best Actor awards from five films, twice winning for two films in the same year. Dhanush, of Kolaveri Di fame, bagged the top prize for essaying roles in Aadukalam (in 2010) and Asuran (in 2019)- sharing the award on both occasions. Dhanush has also co-produced two National Award-winning Feature Films: Best Children’s Film for Kaaka Muttai in 2014 and Best Feature Film in Tamil for Visaranai in 2015.

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Incidentally, fellow Tamil thespian Vijay was nominated for Best Actor in the British National Film Award for Mersal in 2018. The action-thriller did go on to win Best Foreign Feature Film. However, he is yet to receive a nomination at the National Film Awards back home. Coming back to Suriya, the actor was congratulated by many, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. Showering wishes to all winners, including the Soorarai Pottru crew, the DMK Chief wished for “socially responsible progressive creations rule the screen!”