At 54, Akkineni Nagarjuna plays roles that give actors half his age tough competition, but his son Akkineni Naga Chaitanya, who doesn't mind the "healthy competition", says as an actor he is always challenged by the roles his father portrays on screen.
In an interview to IANS, Naga Chaitanya said, "Dad and I have a
very healthy competition and it doesn't bother me. But I'm amazed
at the roles he plays at his age. His roles such as a suave urban
lover challenge me as an actor because at half his age, I wish I
could play such roles."
The young actor added, "I understand how much people love him
when women of my age run to click pictures with him. Therefore, his
presence in the industry would only challenge me to work harder,
but never pose a threat as competition."
Chaitanya, who belongs to the third generation of actors from
the Akkineni family, chose a career in films by will. "Coming from
Akkineni family, I could say I was drawn into cinema, but nobody
forced me to become an actor. I was 19 or 20 when I was confused
whether to take up films as a career. At that juncture, I enrolled
in an acting workshop and then eventually realised I was destined
to be in films," said Chaitanya, who made his cinematic debut in
2009 Telugu college flick Josh.
Continue to read Naga Chaitanya's interview in the slideshow.
The Star Family Status Is A Blessing For Naga Chaitanya
The actor added, "I don't bear any pressure since I come from a
star family. Initially, I may have, but now I see it as a platform
that many people wish they had. I take it as a blessing and work
towards a bright future."
Chaitanya Wants To Follow In His Dad's Footsteps
The 26-year old, who has starred in over half a dozen films,
wants to follow in his dad's footsteps but gradually. "Dad always
tells me to do a variety of roles. I know I have done films mostly
in romance and action genre because for a few more years I want to
do roles I will be comfortable with. I don't think I'm ready yet to
do an Annamayya because I need the experience to pull off
these offbeat roles," he said.
Naga Prefers The Script Over Box-Office Numbers
With hits such as 100% Love and Ye Maaya
Chesave to his credit, Chaitanya says he prefers the script
over box-office numbers. "A Box-Office number is good for a
producer and the industry to keep the turnover game on, but as an
actor I give importance to script. I will turn down a script, even
if it guarantees Rs 100 crore, when I'm not convinced with it," he
Naga Makes Suggests To Attract Viewers
He added, "When I like a script, I take effort to add some
commercial elements such that it does good business. I tell my
director and make small changes that will attract audiences to come
and watch the film more than once."
Naga Has Lot Of Respect For His Seniors
Having spent close to five years in filmdom, he has realised
that "the industry only appears glamorous on the outside, but it's
hard on the inside. It's made of so many people and all deserve
their due importance. I have learnt to respect my seniors because
I'm here because of them".
Naga Is No Stranger To Controversies
He says, "I find it funny to read about these things. I don't
mind reading, but I would come forward and clear the air if there
is some serious misunderstanding."
Chaitanya Has No Bollywood Aspirations
Unlike other Southern heroes, Chaitanya currently has no
Bollywood aspirations. "Honestly, my heart is in Telugu for now.
I'm interested to branch out to Tamil because I know the language.
If Bollywood happens, it will be a bonus, but I'm not working
towards a career in it," he added.
Chaitanya's Upcoming Projects
Chaitanya is awaiting the release of Telugu action-drama
Autonagar Surya while shooting for Telugu family comedy
Manam. He also has a Telugu film each with directors
Sreenivas Reddy and Vijay Kumar Konda in the offing.