The actor talks about making conscious choices after his superhit film 'Majili', the director's deft handling, practising Telangana dialect and more
Not long after his superhit film ‘Majili’, Naga Chaitanya discovered what suits him the best. The actor confesses that commercial filmmaking doesn’t suit his body language and there’s no point in trying the same stories over and again.
“Every actor has a space and my space or zone is honest filmmaking, the one that I have done with director Sekhar Kammula. I’ve become conscious after ‘Majili’ and was very choosy in selecting the projects,” says the actor.
‘Love Story’, starring Sai Pallavi and Chay, is hitting the screens today. The actor believes that ‘Love Story’ would recharge the film industry battered by the backlog pandemic-brought backlog. Chaitanya is in awe with Sekhar Kammula’s school of filmmaking. “Every film of his has so much detailing. The subjects he would touch upon are very sensitive. Every film director has his own standards and vision on how he looks at cinema. As an actor I like to talk about human emotions; we ignore real problems. The grotesque reality isn’t adequately addressed and what’s the use of discussing the larger- than-life problems.”
The ‘Venky Mama’ actor got plenty of time to practise Telangana dialect for his character Revanth, a guy hailing from rural Telangana and makes a living as a zumba instructor. “The movie’s postponement had fetched me well during the lockdown. It gave me time to practise the dialogues while dubbing. Even before getting into the sets, I had to do a lot of reading. Newspaper stories on youngsters from rural Telangana and YouTube videos too helped me in the process. Sekhar garu was very cautious about my expression, he would immediately correct and change it if he sensed the mannerism that was exhibited in my previous film.”
Chay admits how he used to become so nervous while shooting dance numbers. After his movie ‘Shailaja Reddy Alludu’, Chay underwent training under dance choreographer Sekhar. “He had been a pillar, he would constantly encourage me in every film. Rehearsing just before the shoot commences, Sekhar would understand my body language well. That way, I am satisfied with the way I performed,” he says.
By shooting in live locations, Sekhar believes that performance of actors gets complemented unknowingly. That unknown energy can be seen on the big screen. “So, we usually shot with very limited crew and cast. This is the real satisfaction as an actor,” shares Chay.
Crediting ‘Love Story’ as a landmark film in his 12-year filmy career, Naga Chaitanya says all his previous blockbusters, including ‘100% Love’, ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’, ‘Majili’ were the kind of films that deviated from the path of commercial making. “And now, ‘Love Story’ is more realistic and honest. The trend has been changing. Lately, when I was chatting with Sukumar garu, he told me that we have to make a conscious decision while picking stories. Audiences are looking for freshness. And we shouldn’t restrict ourselves from delivering the goods.”
Stating that given a chance he would work with Aamir Khan in Hindi after ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’, Chay says his focus has always been on Telugu. “It was so magical working with Aamir garu for 50 days. The journey taught me so much. I am not aware of pan-India, but if you see the scripts in Telugu, they’re very culturally strong. I personally feel that regional sensibilities get diluted if we drift a little away,” he says.