Naga Chaitanya is very confident of catching a break at the box office with his upcoming film Majili, which is due in cinemas this Friday. The actor described the film as a “prestigious project” for him and his wife Samantha Akkineni, who is the female lead of the film.
Majili marks the third collaboration between Chaitanya and Samantha after Ye Maaya Chesave, Manam and Autonagar Surya. It is written and directed by Shiva Nirvana of Ninnu Kori fame.
Below are edited excerpts from an interaction with the media:
Q. Samantha Akkineni said she was initially reluctant to accept Majili. Did you feel the same about the film in the beginning?
I have done three films with Samantha in the past and all of them were love stories. After our wedding, we were under pressure but we wanted to do something new. And thankfully we found the right script. Majili is about a married couple and the ups and downs they face. Samantha and I were very happy that we got to play these characters. Because this kind of story has not been explored much in our films so far.
Q. The trailer has received a very positive response. What was your initial reaction to the script?
I liked Shiva Nirvana’s Ninnu Kori. Actually, I liked the way he treated the climax. It was realistic. I asked him whether he had a similar story for me. I did not approach Shiva to write a film, especially for me and Samantha. Two months later, he narrated the outline of this film for about 25 minutes. And then we felt Samantha would be the right choice for the female lead.
Q. Was working with Samantha in this film an advantage?
With a new heroine, I would have taken some time to build a rapport. But, I already have that comfort with Samantha and it makes my work a bit easy. We understand each other’s mistakes and help each other on the sets. The roles are so intense that the actors who were playing them required a great deal of understanding between them. The film looks so good on the screen because of that chemistry we have. Samantha being part of this film helped me a lot.
Q. Was it very demanding to play such an intense role?
Yes, it took a lot to play this character. The script took about 7-8 months to be completed. During that period Shiva prepared me well for the role by explaining the character to me. In the process, Shiva and I also became friends and I enjoyed working with him on the sets.
Q. Shiva had said that your performance in this film will be a benchmark for your future films. Your comments.
I can’t judge my performance. It is for the audience to do so. If Shiva is satisfied with my work, I am happy. When I heard the script for the first time, I knew that I had to put in a lot of hard work for this character. Because it has many layers. I was also able to deeply connect with the script.
Q. Tell us about your character.
Everyone would have faced failure at some point in their lives and they would have felt pain. The film is about how my character overcomes his pain.
Q. Is there any life-changing moment in your personal life?
I have experienced quite a few heartbreaks and they have been very painful. Personally, I would say relationships have changed me. Whenever I have experienced the pain, they have made me more mature as a person. Professionally, all my flops. Sometimes, I expect some films to work but they don’t. So this whole process has changed me and made me evolve. Fortunately, it’s happening at a young age. I have time to correct myself.
Q. How is Venky Mama shooting progressing?
We have already completed a 15-day long schedule. The next schedule will start on April 8. We are trying to complete the entire shooting by July.