Nani, who is on a career high with three back-to-back hits, doesn't want to take the easy route to stardom. Instead of following the herd and merely copying his counterparts, he wants to carve his own path and doesn't mind failing doing what he believes in.
As Nani awaits the release of Gentleman, which is to hit screens on Friday, he says his well-wishers in the industry didn't want him to do the film.
"After the success of films such as Bhale Bhale Magadivoy and Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha, my friends in the industry wanted me to take the commercial route. They didn't want me to do this film while some even offered projects with very big banners. However, I had decided I will only do films I believe in", said Nani.
Clarifying that he has nothing against those who didn't want him to do Gentleman, he said: "I'd rather fail doing what I believe in and feel satisfied that I tried. I don't want to regret doing something that I don't believe in."
Directed by Mohan Krishna Indraganti, Gentleman also stars Surbhi and Nivetha Thomas. For Nani, it's his career's toughest project. "This is not a film where I have pages of dialogues or physically had to put myself through hell to play the role. It's the kind of film where I can't let audiences find fault with my performance. Usually, I don't revisit a scene once shot.
"However, in Gentleman, every morning on the sets, I had to revisit the last four scenes and then shoot for the next set of scenes," he explained. It was tough in terms of playing his part to the T, said Nani, and added that he enjoyed testing his potential.
Asked what motivated him to take up something so tough and challenging, he said: "I don't think I can even imagine doing something like this a decade later. I might be a bigger star and won't get the opportunity to experiment. This film got me genuinely excited and I didn't want to regret missing it."
The project marks Nani's reunion with his mentor Indraganti, who launched him in Ashta Chamma.
"It feels great to reunite with him. When we did Ashta Chamma, I never thought people will pay money to watch me on screen. I never took myself seriously back then. Now, everything has changed and cinema has become my profession. I know my strengths and weaknesses. The Nani you see now is in complete control of his life," he said.
With two projects in his kitty, Nani is happy doing Telugu projects. However, if at all he wants to expand his base, he is keen on doing bilinguals.