It was a "historic moment" for Amitabh Bachchan to be invited to open the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival with his The Great Gatsby co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. Big B made the experience more special by addressing the audience in his mother tongue Hindi.
"Truly a historic moment for me, but immensely historic and honourable for the Indian film industry, a fraternity that I am and shall always be most proud of," Bollywood Amitabh posted on his blog srbachchan.tumblr.com.
The Cannes extravaganza celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema this year, and Amitabh was there also for the premiere of his Hollywood debut movie The Great Gatsby. The 70-year-old veteran was truly delighted at the importance given to him at the fest.
It was an "emotional" experience, he shared on Twitter.
"The honour and respect meted out by Cannes, incredible. Announcing suddenly for Leonardo DiCaprio and myself to open the festival. With the entire world film fraternity at Cannes, applauding and welcoming our presence, treating us like royalty... it's emotional.
"For a complete alien in the midst of Cannes to be acknowledged, is the proudest moment for me as an Indian. Acknowledging Cannes in recognising 100 years of Indian cinema, it was absolutely imperative for me to address, in my mother tongue," posted Big B.
He shared how the "director of Cannes (was) delighted to hear the 'music of the Hindi language' spoken" as "it brought in the universality of the occasion".
Big B also loved watching The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann.
"I loved The Great Gatsby better the second time ... understood the nuances, the words, the pathos and energy," he added.
The actor plays Meyer Wolfsheim in the $125 million 3D project, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name.