For the first time, actor Naga Chaitanya is reaching out to the audience in an out-and-out entertaining role in today’s release Shailaja Reddy Alludu (SAR). “The roles I have played so far are either serious or emotional. My role in SAR is quite refreshing as it brings in a lot of entertainment. I’ve been longing to do an energetic and enthusiastic role for some time now. When Maruthi narrated the script, I was delighted to be on board. I can say it’s the most challenging role in my career and I’m glad to have pulled it off quite impressively.”
He elaborates, “I will be seen as a happy-go-lucky guy, who works closely with his father. The problem arises when he falls for a girl, who tames her ego. Things worsen when he tries to convince her mother, who is the personification of deadly ego. How he subdues their egos to win his lady love is the essence of the film.”
The Manam actor reveals what it was like when he realised that he is sharing screen space with actor Ramya Krishna, who plays Shailaja Reddy in the film. “I was intimidated even before I started working with her as everything that she has done so far has been spectacular, especially in Baahubali. She has been one of my favourite actors and I’ve watched Hello Brother over 30 times. Initially, it was really difficult for me to match up to her, but as the time goes by, we got along really well. The chemistry we share in this film is amazing,” recalls Chay.
He says that a love story provides all the ingredients of conflict and drama and admits that over the years, romance has been his forte. “Love stories always keep me going. They kind of suit my body language, but I’ve realised the need to work in diverse genres. Without missing out the love element, I’m trying to find myself as an actor, who can get into the skin of any role. I hope Shailaja Reddy Alludu reflects my faith,” says Chay.
The Akkineni lad agrees that Telugu cinema has been witnessing a radical change in movie making. “I enjoyed watching Arjun Reddy and RX 100. But what I intend to do now is commercial entertainers. I always want to do good films but I feel I still have some time to go after such intense roles. If everything falls into place, I will attempt such roles in the future,” reveals the young actor.
Interestingly, Chaitanya’s film is locking horns with his better half and actor Samantha Akkineni’s U Turn today. Asked about the box-office competition, he quickly reacts, “To set the record straight, I’m not competing with Samantha. I agree that they have finalised the release date first and ours is the last minute call. As both the films are from different genres, I want them to do well at the box office.” Recalling the day he shared the news of Shailaja Reddy Alludu coming out on the same day as her film to his wife, the actor explains, “She gave me a weird look, but there was nothing I could do as deciding a film’s release date is not in my hands.”
Even though he likes to work with newcomers, Chaitanya is not in a space to join forces with new talent now. “I like encouraging new talent and our (Annapurna Studios) recent collaboration with the makers of ChiLaSow accentuates that. I have worked with several debutante directors in the past, but the results weren’t satisfactory. For the moment, I don’t want to work with new directors,” confides Naga Chaitanya.
— Murali Krishna CH