"She's (Smita Patil) someone whose work I admire a lot and the fact that I have got this award at such an early stage of my career, definitely makes me feel like I must be doing something right," Deepika said here at the award event.
"It gives me the confidence to go ahead and choose the kind of films I have been doing and believe in the kind of roles that excite me," added the 26-year-old, who received the award Tuesday.
Deepika, a model-turned-actress, started her film career with "Om Shanti Om" opposite Shah Rukh Khan.
Her acting skills have been appreciated in the film circle, and she has won awards too. Deepika says actors don't work for awards, but if their hard work fetches them one, it's a great feeling.
Asked if she hopes for a National award, she said: "That's every actor's dream. When you do a shot in front of the camera, when you are working, that's not what is in your mind, you are not working to win the award. But at the end of the day when you finish a film and put in all the hard work, of course you want all the awards and if there is a National award that comes my way, most definitely."
Deepika's forthcoming films include "Kochadaiyaan", "Race 2", "Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani" and "Ram Leela."
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