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Monday, October 25, 2021

Naga Chaitanya on working with Aamir Khan: ‘It was a magical opportunity’

Naga Chaitanya Akkineni talks about Love Story, working with Aamir Khan and his new Amazon Prime web series. Directed by Sekhar Kammula, Love Story is scheduled to release on September 24.

Written by Gabbeta Ranjith Kumar | Hyderabad |
Updated: September 24, 2021 8:30:01 am
Naga ChaitanyaNaga Chaitanya Akkineni poses for paparazzi during Love Story promotions. (Photo: PR Handout)

Naga Chaitanya, who was last seen in Venky Mama, is all set to entertain audiences with Love Story from September 24. The film marks his first collaboration with director Sekhar Kammula and actress Sai Pallavi. The movie is also the first big-ticket movie to release in theatres post the second wave of Covid-19, and the Majili star is confident about the film’s success.

Ahead of the film’s release, Naga Chaitanya interacted with the media and shared interesting titbits about his journey with the movie. Here are the excerpts:

After facing a few hurdles, now Love Story is releasing in theatres.

I am confident about the film’s success, but a little bit nervous about the theatrical response. I believe that the family audience will throng to the theatres if we give them good content. This trend was observed after the first wave of Covid-19. I hope that the same magic will repeat.

Is it true that the Love Story team has shot two different climaxes for the movie?

We never shot two different climaxes. We shot one climax and improved it as we got extra time during the lockdowns.

How Love Story will look different from other romantic dramas?

Director Sekhar Kammula has touched upon two important layers – caste discrimination and gender issues. People are wary about addressing these elements openly in society. When we address these issues through cinema, the reach is much more. The film is a realistic love drama, and it revolves around a lower caste boy who comes to a city from a village. What kind of challenges does he face there? What are the hurdles he faces when he falls in love with an upper caste girl?

Were there any changes in your thought process after working with Sekhar Kammula?

The dedication and honesty Sekhar Kammula shows towards his craft is very rare. Working with him benefits an actor a lot. He dives deep into each element of his movie-making. I like the realistic approach to filmmaking where not much liberty is taken with the essentials, I am happy to get the opportunity to work in that kind of environment in Love Story.

What was your thought after watching the final output of Love Story?

I am very happy as it satisfied the actor in me. Generally, I feel uncomfortable promoting my films if I am not confident. But this time, I can confidently and proudly recommend Love Story to audiences.

Actors are expanding their market by doing pan-India movies.

I have no idea about the pan-India market of films. Our Telugu culture is strong, and I feel that the regional sensibilities get diluted if we change a few points to make one subject suit pan-India. My focus is always on Telugu, and if I get a good opportunity to work in Hindi, I will attempt that. I got the opportunity of Laal Singh Chaddha magically, and everything happened organically. It was a great learning experience for me to spend nearly 50 days with Aamir Khan.

What is your take on the debates of theatres versus OTTs?

The last two years have been unpredictable. We should now move forward by taking the best decisions. A few producers can hold (their movies) but a few are not. It’s their belief at that point of time. So, we should not judge anybody for waiting or not waiting. Fortunately, my producers put the film on hold to release it in theatres. I am happy with that, but at the same time, I will not judge the producers who have gone for the OTT release of their movies.

Tell us about your upcoming projects?

The production for Thank You is nearing completion. I signed a web series for Amazon Prime Video. It is a supernatural thriller, and I am playing the lead with negative shades. I am doing Bangarraju with dad Nagarjuna.

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