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Home»Interview»Naga Chaitanya: I knew Thank You would be a challenge and that's why I said yes»

Naga Chaitanya: I knew Thank You would be a challenge and that's why I said yes

The actor speaks about his coming-of-age drama, directed by Vikram K Kumar, which hits theatres on July 22

  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 03.53 PM, Jul 19, 2022

Naga Chaitanya: I knew Thank You would be a challenge and that's why I said yes
Naga Chaitanya

Over the last few days, director Vikram K Kumar's Thank You has been in the news for Naga Chaitanya's ability to pull off three different looks for the film across different ages. The coming-of-age tale bankrolled by Dil Raju and Shirish revolves around a young ordinary man's transformation into a successful CEO. Ahead of its release on July 22, Naga Chaitanya spoke to the media about the various factors that made him say yes to the film and the various challengings shooting for it.

"Thank You has been a challenging film, physically and mentally. Many are presuming that I only have three looks in it, but my character's journey is shown across various ages - 16, 20, 25, 30 and 36. It wasn't going to be easy and that's the reason I took it up. It's hard for scripts like Thank You to come by, where you have so much to experiment with, in terms of looks. In most films, the only scope to try to a different look is the flashback," he shares.

Moreover, he saw Thank You as the last opportunity to play a teenager on screen. "I don't think I can play a teenager three or four years later." Even before the film, Chaitanya lost over 25 kgs for Laal Singh Chaddha and it helped his cause in Thank You too. "Thank You team gave me three months to match my physique for the 16-year-old look. Most importantly, my body supported me. I loved the transformation. I even participated in body language workshops."

Speaking of the film's comparisons to Premam, Chaitanya says the former is about how a guy is influenced by his love life. "Here, the story is about a guy who is grateful to the people who transform his life. I transformed a lot through the making of Thank You too. I have opened up more and become closer to my friends and family. I feel liberated and have been talking to people with ease lately."

Thank You was significantly filmed abroad apart from select locales in the vicinity of Rajahmundry and Vizag. "I prefer to shoot in exterior locations because of the opportunity to meet people. I like to listen to their opinions, and tastes and discuss cinema with them. Only when you try to give them something new, will they be convinced to come to theatres. The trailer has become a crucial tool to reach out to them. Even my approach to scripts has changed in recent times."

"Raashi Khanna plays a very crucial character in Thank You. The character's journey takes off because of her. Malvika Nair's character will make a mark too. Avika Gor's role is more like my on-screen sister," he adds. Chaitanya plays a Mahesh Babu fan in the film and there are several references to the star's hit films like Okkadu, and Pokiri. Incidentally, Thank You is only his second collaboration with producer Dil Raju, who also bankrolled his debut Josh, that released 13 years ago.

The actor, who's slated to make his Hindi film debut with Laal Singh Chaddha later this year, opines Aamir Khan is a very good teacher. "He never tells you what to do and gives you the freedom to perform. However, when you spend time with him, you realise how you can better your performance. It was a great learning curve. Aamir was thrilled when he arranged the film's preview for Chiranjeevi. It's a wonderful gesture from Chiranjeevi garu to present the Telugu version."

He's donning the khaki for his next film with director Venkat Prabhu. The duo had initially planned to work on the Telugu remake of Maanaadu but went ahead with a new script when there was trouble procuring the remake rights. Now, Rana Daggubati will headline the remake. Naga Chaitanya is also set to work with director Tharun Bhascker on an investigative cop drama and an untitled film with Sarkaru Vaari Paata director Parasuram Petla. His web debut Dhootha will release on Amazon Prime Video next year.