There’s no tradition of female actors in their family. But Telugu superstar Nagarajuna’s elder son Naga Chaitanya says he won’t mind breaking that tradition when he marries actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu. Disarmingly candid about his feelings and plans with Samantha, Chaitanya said: “We’ve been in a relationship for a while now. And we’re getting married. The marriage will happen in the later part of 2017 sometime in the final months next year. We haven’t fixed a wedding date. We’re getting engaged shortly. My younger brother Akhil is getting married first.”
Chaitanya said he would be happy if Samantha continues working after their wedding. “I’d love for Samantha to continue acting after our marriage. She has worked hard to achieve her stardom. Unlike me, she had no family empire to back her career in Telugu cinema. She is a first generation actor in her family. Her struggle and success are far more admirable than mine,” he said.
When pointed out that while Samantha came to the industry with zero expectations whereas a star-son like him is weighed down by audiences’ unreasonable expectations, Chaitanya said: “You may be right. But I’ve made many career mistakes in the eight years that I’ve been acting. I did films that I never should have. I was young, inexperienced and a bit reckless. I think I’ve finally come into my own ‘Premam’.”
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He said the team has “worked really hard” on Premam. “Though it’s a remake of a Malayalam film, we wanted to give it a fresh look, feel and execution. For me, the challenge was to play a guy in love who goes from age 14 to 30. I loved doing the physical and emotional transitions. Also, love and its fascinating facets, are very close to my heart. Yeah, this is a film very close to home,” he said. Chaitanya watched his new film and he was happy with what he saw. “We’ve achieved what we set out to make. Audiences like me in soft romantic roles and ‘Premam’ ticks all the boxes. Now everything depends on how the audience responds to my film in relation to the other films being released this week,” he said.
“It is the festive season and people are in the mood to see films. But this doesn’t mean they will favour my film just because I am from a distinguished family. I am now going to be judged for what I deliver, and not where I come from,” said the actor, who started his film career with Vasu Varma’s “Josh”. He says he takes his father’s advice on film projects.
“I show him all my scripts. His approval in every aspect of my life is very important. Being his son has been a huge advantage for me. Of course, after the initial advantage, I am on my own. No one will go to see my film now because of my father.” Are the two brothers close? Akhil and I more friends than brothers. Being younger, one would expect him to seek my advice. But it’s the other way around. Akhil gives me advice. And I gladly take it. We are all looking forward to his wedding. It would be the first marriage in our family in a long long time,” Chaitanya said.
Chaitanya’s next is a home production, produced by his father Nagarajuna and to be directed by Kalyan Krishna. “It would be slightly removed from the romantic roles that audiences expect from me. But not too much of an experimentation. I think I did experimental roles too early in my career. At the moment, I need to consolidate myself at the boxoffice. I hope ‘Premam’ achieves that for me.”