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India has a special place in my heart: Swank

Oscar winner Hilary Swank got a thunderous applause when she greeted spectators at the IIFA awards ceremony here with a “Namaste” and said India held a special place in her heart.

The Hollywood actress was the most unexpected celebrity at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony in Toronto.

The American, who accompanied Slumdog Millionaire actor Anil Kapoor to present the best actor award to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, said: “Namaste Toronto! Namaste India! Namaste world!”

“India has a very special place in my heart. Bollywood has been bringing two worlds together. It really makes us believe in the IIFA philosophy of ‘One People. One World.’ IIFA truly rocks,” she added.

Swank, who looked simple yet stunning in a deep pink and long gown, presented the award to Shah Rukh for his performance in Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan.

The Badshah of Bollywood, as Shah Rukh is known, appreciated the actress for her heartwarming “Namaste”.

“It feels great to be presented an award by two of the most respected actors in the world – Slumdog Millionaire Anil Kapoor, and of course, Hilary Swank,” Shah Rukh told the audience at the Roger’s Centre here.

To Swank, SRK said: “I love the way you say ‘Namaste’… it will be a fond memory.”

Before the awards function kickstarted, Swank also had a brief brush with the media at the green carpet.

“I love all kinds of cinema and from all the countries. I think Bollywood films are a lot of fun and passionate. I’m excited to be at IIFA,” she said.