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It's action time for Naga Chaitanya

Last updated on: August 10, 2011 12:08 IST

It's action time for Naga Chaitanya

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

The year began on a successful note for Naga Chaitanya whose first release 100 % Love, in May, turned out to be a blockbuster. The college love story with Tamannah attracted the youth and family audience.

Chaitanya gets a make-over in Dhada where he plays the lover boy turned angry young man. This will be his first action film, directed by Ajay Bhuyan and produced by Siva Prasad Reddy.

In the confines of the family's Annaporna Studios, Chaitanya reveals all about Dhada, which will be in theatres on Thursday, August 11.

This is your first action entertainer and your first mass film...

After I met Ajay Bhuyan, we thought of making the English TV show Prison Break as a Telugu film. Ajay put it all down but somehow we felt it would not work. Then Dhada emerged. It's personally close to both Ajay's and my tastes. I always wanted to do a stylish entertainer. I don't like hitting 100 people and see them flying in the air. I wanted to do some Hollywood-style action. It's not just action, but has loads of entertainment and a mature love story.

Is the film based on a real life incident?

It's about an engineering graduate from the US heading to Hyderabad. In the 10 days before his departure, he falls in love and his life changes. There's action but it's not gory. There's Brahmanandam to induce laughter. Songs are great. The film has visual beauty.


Image: Naga Chaitanya

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'It was irritating when people called me a chocolate boy'

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How did you handle the transition from lover boy to angry young man?

It has been a transition. I wanted to do action and it was a bit irritating when people called me a chocolate boy. I can do other films too. So it was a conscious decision to do Dhada which actually came my way during Josh (Chaitanya's first film).

Did you do any difficult action sequences?

There were international technicians for Dhada and we used to rehearse before the shoot. The underwater episodes were challenging. Wearing scuba masks, taking a breath and doing the shots was challenging. A majority of the action sequences were shot in Thailand.

Why was it necessary to shoot the film in places like Hyderabad, Bangkok, Philippines and Europe?

The story is set in a foreign country. There are some portions shot in the US. Production wise, it is difficult to shoot an entire film in the US. It's logistically difficult as getting permission takes time and it is also expensive to shoot there. So we shot in Bangkok, Manila, Frankfurt and Austria.


Image: Naga Chaitanya

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'I worked non-stop for this film'

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You are cast opposite Kajal Agarwal for the first time. How was she as a co-star?

She's great. She's experienced. She was kidding around and full of energy.

How was it acting with Rahul Dev and Kelly Dorjee who play negative roles? 

They are both 'young', fit and look great. Kelly knows kick boxing. I had fight sequences with them. Their body fitness doesn't reflect that they are in their 40s.

What did you see in Ajay as a director?

Ajay is out of the box, doesn't think in the regular way. He's inspired by cinema from all around the world. If you want to make a film, he will say 'let's make it' and he won't think if it will work or not. Ajay thinks cinematically and that is exciting.

How taxing was it shooting this film?

Shooting was tiring as there was a lot of travelling. One can't shoot in a relaxed way when one is abroad. I worked non-stop for this film.


Image: Naga Chaitanya

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'Dhada is a commercial film but presented differently'

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Any plus points about the film?

The way it is styled. It is a commercial film but presented differently. The cinematography and the technical aspects are good.

Expectations are high because your previous two films are hits. How would you react to that?

It is weighing on my mind. When Ye Maaya Chesaave released, there were no expectations. With 100 % Love, I felt Oh my god, it has to work. I feel I can pull off Dhada as the package is a lot more commercial.

Would you like to say anything about the producer, Dhada Siva Prasad Reddy who is known to your family?

He is family. He has been making films with Dad. Hats off to him for supporting a not-so-regular kind of film. Story wise and content wise, it is not new but the presentation is different and supporting that is creditable. He is very senior and we are young and changing our minds every day. Three years ago, during Josh, he told me 'we are doing a film together'. There wasn't even a story then.

Devisriprasad's music seems to be doing well...

Devi is a good luck charm. Devi's films with Dad also worked well.

Is your family happy with your two films?

They are very happy. Many of them preferred 100 % Love to Ye Maaya Chesaave as this is a college romance.

Image: A still from Dhada

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'Autonagar Surya is going to be an important film for me'

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What did your grandfather ANR garu have to say about 100 % Love?

Grandpa paid huge compliments to the director. The character I play is egoistic and slightly negative. He was happy that the director was able to strike a great balance. He liked both films.

You started shooting Bejawada Rowdilu (produced by Ramgopal Varma) amidst controversy and huge crowds. How has the experience been so far?

It has been a unique experience. The way Ramu has designed the production and budgeting is amazing. He is shooting with Canon 5D. He thinks new and I am learning a lot. Vivek (the director) is from Vijayawada and he has been in the industry for a while having assisted Krishnavamsi and Boyapati Seenu.

You are doing more films this year than last year. Was this a conscious decision?

I like the scripts. As an actor, Autonagar Surya, which I will start shooting in October, will be a test. It is an important film for me and hopefully will do well for my career.


Image: A still from Dhada

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