Naga Chaitanya, the heir of the Akkineni family, carved a special place for himself in Tollywood with the kind of films he chose. With a blink and miss role in Gautham Menon’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, Chaitanya looks forward to make his debut in Kollywood soon. The actor was in the city for the launch of Tollywood Thunders (a CBL team) owned by Nandiniy Vijay, Sagar Pentela, and Dr Dheeraj.
In a casual chat with DC, Naga Chaitanya volunteered to converse in Tamil and opened up about his tryst with badminton, Premam and Gautham Menon.
Opening up about the Celebrity Badminton League, Chaitanya says, “Badminton is something I am very close to and it is the first time I have got an opportunity to be associated with a sporting league. I am really excited! I play the sport often, but not as good as a professional. My play is casual, just like how we play with friends.”
About the latest trend of everyone taking to sports or gym workouts, he says, “If you like gymming over playing a sport, then you should go ahead and do it. It is about what your mind has a liking towards. Going to a gym or playing a sport should not be mechanical, there should be an emotional attachment to it,” he suggests.
Recently, PV Sindhu won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics and made the whole country proud. “Indeed, she has put Indian athletes on the global map. It has worked to our advantage for the CBL, as people are more familiar with badminton, and the curiosity has definitely gone up. She is someone India should be proud of,” he states.
Having spent his childhood in Chennai, Chaitanya has a great connection with the city. “I was born here and did my schooling from Padma Seshadri and AMM. Chennai is very close to my heart and I lived in Tiruvanmiyur most of my life and work brought me to Hyderabad. I still come back to the city whenever I want to meet my friends. I make it a point to visit Chennai once in a month,” he shares.
When asked whose work Chaitanya follows in Kollywood, he explains, “I catch up with all Tamil films that release. I keep a tab on films of Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Ajith, and Vijay. I respect Kollywood so much as they are coming up with innovative scripts and many small budget films that are working really well.”
The recent video promo of Evare song from Premam sparked a debate on whether Naga Chaitanya and Shruti recreated the same magic that Nivin Pauly and Sai Pallavi managed to do. Elaborating on it, Chaitanya asserts, “I expected comparisons to crop up since the first day as Premam is a fantastic film which showcased Nivin Pauly’s excellent performance. After watching the Malayalam version, I was really inspired and I look up to him. No way am I remaking Premam to top him, or better the original. The main idea is to pick the soul of the film and make a Telugu film to present it to Telugu audiences.”
It was Gautham Menon who gave the much needed break for Naga Chaitanya with Ye Maaya Chesave. The actor has collaborated with the director for the second time for Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo. “Gautham sir is my mentor and I’ve learnt a lot from him. Whenever I spend time with him, I keep growing as an actor. I share a great rapport with him and am looking forward to working with him,” he muses.
So, when can we see Naga Chaitanya in Tamil films? “The Tamil industry has a huge market and already has many talented actors. So, making a mark in Kollywood is not easy. I will have to choose the right script and do it the right way,” sums up the Manam actor.