It's been a while since Naga Chaitanya had a release; his last was Tadakha,which hit screens last summer. However, the 27-year-old has a slew of big ticket films to look forward to this year. Besides the much postponed action drama, Autonagar Surya, there is the romantic entertainer Oka Laila Kosam,but the Akkineni-multi-starrer Manam is easily the "most special" for reasons both personal and historic.
Only a handful of actors world over have achieved the rare cinematic distinction of acting in a movie with his/her father and grandfather. The movie is set to go down in the Telugu cinema history as ANR's last film. However, for Chaitanya, it's much more than a movie — for him, being part of it has been an emotional journey. "Manamwill always be close to my heart and I will cherish the memories of shooting with my grandfather all my life. My entire family is very emotionally invested in the movie and it's very special for all of us," shares Chaitanya.
It was while shooting for the movie that the news of his legendary grandfather's illness became public. But the family knew about it much earlier. "Watching thatha (grandfather) deal with the whole thing was just inspiring. We were all very concerned and actually derived strength from watching him go through his paces," shares the actor,who admits to have had his share of nerves while acting with him. The episode in which Chaitanya was required to call ANR musaloda (old man) was the toughest.
It took numerous persuasions from dad Nagarjuna to convince him. The actor admits it "took a big effort," to get the line right. But he isn't too forthcoming about sharing details about his role in the movie. "You will have to wait for the trailer. Director Vikram Kumar's screenplay is surely going to leave the audiences in splits. It will be a laugh riot and will take everyone by surprise," says the actor,who is set to begin shooting for his next film, Durga, soon.
Touted to be a mass entertainer, the film has Hansika playing the female lead. "Akula Siva has come up with a very entertaining script loaded with humour," says the actor,who seems to have taken a liking for comedy. "The audience comes to watch a movie to get entertained and as an actor, it is important to be able to make the audience laugh. I am working on my comic timing," he adds.
While he may be working on his "funny side", not many people know that the soft spoken actor has a little known musical side to him too. It was something he had from school. "I wasn't very good at studies, but was into a lot of extra-curricular activities. I used to play the keyboard and bass guitar in my school band and went on to study keyboard from Trinity College, London," says the actor, admitting he hasn't been spending much time honing his skills on the keyboard of late.
But he does make it a point to work-out for an hour, five times a week. "The love for fitness is something I picked up from my dad and I make it a point not to miss working out," shares Chaitanya,who is just as passionate about fast wheels. It comes as no surprise to learn that his most coveted possession is his superbike, which he bought with his first pay-cheque. "I love taking my bike for a spin during my free time. I have a bunch of friends who share my passion and we take off on long drives quite often," shares the actor,who admits to being quite involved with the racing team owned by his dad.
"It's a passion that's been with me since I was 10-yearsold. My dad bought me my first car at 18 and growing up in Chennai, I would spend all my weekends on the race track. I love attending the races whenever I can," says Chaitanya,who's been living on his own for quite about a year now. "It's something I've wanted to do for a while. Besides the privacy, living by yourself makes you a lot more responsible. It's a typical bachelor pad, not the cleanest you will find, but I've gotten better. I'd advise everyone to try living on their own," he says signing off.