After delivering a superhit with Love Story last year, Naga Chaitanya is all set to test the waters in 2022 with Bangarraju. Also starring his father, actor Nagarjuna Akkineni, Ramya Krishnan, and Krithi Shetty, this Kalyan Krishna Kurasala directorial is a sequel to Soggade Chinni Nayana.
While 2021 brought him success, the actor and wife Samantha also announced their separation. Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Naga Chaitanya announced their decision in October. The duo took to their respective social media accounts and issued statements. A part of it read, “After much deliberation and thought, (we) have decided to part ways as husband and wife to pursue our own paths.”
Ahead of Bangarraju’s release, Chaitanya opened on his work and life in a media interaction. Excerpts…
How was it working with Nagarjuna after Manam?
When we were shooting for Manam, there was a little fear in me to act in front of my father. That work experience helped me to work more freely in Bangarraju. Before the commencement of shooting, I had so many questions about the film and my character. However, dad and director Kalyan Krishna helped me a lot. I have watched Soggade Chinni Nayana many times to understand the nuances of the characters.
What is the basic conflict point in the movie?
I played a grandson to dad in the movie. My character Chinna Bangarraju is naughty and mischievous. So, to keep him under control, Pedda Bangarraju (Nagarjuna) comes down from heaven. A temple-related conflict in the plot forms the crux of the story.
How did you overcome the tough times in your personal life in recent times?
My entire family stood by me during those difficult times. It was a decision made for the good of both of us. If she (Samantha) is happy, I am happy. That was the best decision in that situation. Both of us are doing well professionally too.
Since you are known as a lover boy among the audience, what kind of impact Bangarraju will have on your image?
All my previous love dramas were made with a realistic touch. But Bangarraju has a romance that is quite entertaining. While the first half sees me and Krithi Shetty as frenemies, the relationship turns into love in the second half.
Bangarraju is your first movie to release in the Sankranthi season!
I am feeling a little nervous and excited as well. We designed this film for the Sankranthi release.
Seems like the film’s team completed it in record time.
Four years back, dad thought of Bangarraju. But, due to the unavailability of dates and other commitments, the film got delayed. When we thought of commencing the shoot, the Covid-19 pandemic halted our plans. We started the regular shoot in September last year as a start-to-finish schedule.
What is your take on the ongoing ticket pricing row in Andhra Pradesh?
Around April, the government (of AP) issued the government order on ticket prices, and we started our film’s shoot in August. We did the budget planning for the movie according to the changed rates. We have to move forward by adapting to the changing situations. So, if something changes in the ticket rates, it will be a bonus for the film.
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
After Thank You, I am doing a horror web series for Amazon Prime. Vikram K Kumar will direct it.