The minute Naga Chaitanya agreed to meet a room full of journalists, it was time for Tollywood’s worst-kept secret to be revealed to the public -- from the horse’s mouth. Yes, stars Samantha and Naga Chaitanya are in love and will get married next year.
Such has been the public interest about this filmy relationship that Naga Chaitanya would’ve been naive to think he wouldn’t be welcomed with a barrage of questions about his personal life. And sure enough, they came flying in thick and fast, but the actor was calm, shy and honest about his relationship with his Ye Maaya Chesaave co-star, and confirmed what was being speculated for a long time.
“I’m a private person which is why I never felt the need to speak about this in public. My friends have known about it for a long time. Then we told our families and next year, we plan to get married,” shared Chaitanya.
When quizzed about his superstar father, Nagarjuna’s reaction to their alliance, Chaitanya said, “The first person that I told was my father. The minute he heard the news, he looked at me and said, ‘You’re telling me this now, but I’ve known all along’. Our families have been supportive and everyone is happy.”
Ever since Naga Chaitanya and Samantha made a public appearance at the wedding of Nimmagadda Prasad’s daughter, speculation of their love story was rife among industry circles. In fact, reports went on to suggest that Samantha has refused to sign a few projects because it had bold content, and that she was told not to take them up by Chaitanya.
Rubbishing such reports, Chai said that he never interferes with Samantha’s work and that wouldn’t change post-marriage either.
“I will never tell her what she should or shouldn’t do. After marriage too, she will continue to work and I will encourage her to do so. Because she has worked very hard to get to where she is today. I have had a lot of family support on my way to becoming successful but Samantha came up entirely on her own, through sheer talent and hard work. Why should she throw it all away just because she gets married?,” Chai questioned, passionately.
While the Chai-Sam relationship has been widely discussed for quite some time now, what has surprised everybody, including Chaitanya, is his younger brother Akhil’s announcement that he would soon marry designer Shriya Bhupal.
“Akhil’s story was a shock to all of us. But I’m really happy for him. In fact, his wedding would take place before mine,” Chai informed.
Such has been the media-circus surrounding Naga Chaitanya’s private life that you almost forget that he will be seen on the big screen this Friday, after a gap of one-and-a-half years, with Chandoo Mondeti’s Premam.
A remake of the 2014 Malayalam blockbuster of the same name, Premam will see Chaitanya reprise the role of Nivin Pauly in the film which showcases three love stories in the three different phases of the protagonist’s life.
“This is not a straight copy of the Malayalam film. We have added our own variations to suit the sensibilities of the Telugu audience. We don’t want the audience to compare this film with the original flick. Our intention was not make a better film or to gain more collections, this is just our take on a wonderful story,” Chaitanya points out.
While admitting that he took a leaf out of Nivin’s book while preparing for this character, the Manam star says that Premam was one of his most challenging experiences as an actor. “I want to establish myself as an actor with this one. With this film, I want to prove to the audience that I can act. I took inspiration from Nivin and references from own life to play this part. It was an enriching experience,” expresses the 29-year-old actor. The movie is being helmed by Chandoo Mondeti who impressed with his debut film Karthikeya.
Chai also awaits the release of Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo in which he reunites with Gautham Menon after a gap of six years. The film has been marred with several delays and hasn’t seen the light of the day, even though the first look was revealed almost an year ago.
“We want to release it in Telugu and Tamil at the same time. The movie which features Shruti Haasan, Anupama Parameswaran hits screens on October 7.