Samantha Akkineni and Naga Chaitanya’s upcoming film Majili marks their first on-screen appearance after tying the knot. The Shiva Nirvana directorial promises a fresh story, which has not been tackled before in Telugu cinema. In an interview, ChaySam got candid about the film, their relationship and much more. Here are the excerpts:
Q. Why Majili? Is there a connection with your real life?
Samantha Akkineni: I love husband Chay more than boyfriend Chay. He is nothing like Poorna. After Ye Maaya Chesave and Manam, we thought where to go after this. We thought it would not be believable if we do a love story. We have also passed that phase now.
Naga Chaitanya: We, as actors, have already experienced that journey (of being in love for the first time.) As actors, we won’t be satisfied if we do the same thing. It was a conscious decision to take up a mature story. Even going forward, that will be our aim. Maybe that is why Majili has this freshness to it. The space or the subject we deal with in the film is different and it has not been dealt with before in Telugu cinema.
Q. The story is about both love and pain. How do you balance both in real life?
Samantha Akkineni: I think how love binds people together, pain also makes two people a team and stronger. According to me, it takes both love and pain to make a relationship stronger.
Q. Was it like a jackpot to work on this film together?
Naga Chaitanya: Yes. Going to shoot together, taking off together. She also came for the outdoor shoot. So, it is nice when the professional and personal life come together. It is a jackpot.
Actually, it is like Majili chose us. We were not going out and looking for a script to work together. I approached Shiva after watching Ninnu Kori. I asked him if he has a script because I was keen to work with him. Soon, he narrated me the story of Majili. So, he suggested that Sam should play Sravani in the film. That is how the film happened. Nothing was planned.
Q. How is Shiva as a director?
Samantha Akkineni: He is so cool. He is a friend. Very sweet but very sure of what he wants. He has so much confidence. We should learn self-confidence from him. It is good. He knows his craft. This is his second film, but he worked on it like he has been here for a long time.
Q. When you look back now, do you feel a lot has changed?
Naga Chaitanya: I think looking back at the previous films is a learning curve. In fact, if one of our songs is playing on television, she makes me change it. It is that embarrassing. Even when I see Ye Maaya Chesave, I feel what was I doing. If today I was doing the same film, I would have done it so much better.
Q. Samantha, what is it that you love about Chay?
Stability and balance.
Q. And what is it that you hate about him?
Q. Chay, what is it that you don’t like about Samantha?
How much social media influences her. I am completely anti-social so I don’t get it.
Q. What will be qualities you want to imbibe from her?
I think, one is her energy level. It is very daunting. Also, honesty. If she likes you, she will keep you high up in the sky, but if she doesn’t, you are just down.
Q. People start complaining about losing the charm they had when they were just girlfriends and boyfriends. Has that happened to you?
Samantha Akkineni: Impossible. Yesterday, I called him Chay and he said “ha?” and I had a Deja Vu moment. I went back to the time I was working with him on Ye Maaya Chesave. I was like – wow, I married him. I felt so happy. Immediately, I said a prayer. I thanked God. I am genuinely so happy. It is the best decision of my life.
Majili hits screens on April 5.