Actor Naga Shaurya, who plays a fit, charming and free-spirited entrepreneur Aakash in the family entertainer Varudu Kaavalenu, has impressed one and all with his screen presence throughout his career. He's out to prove himself as a bankable performer yet again with Varudu Kaavalenu. Exuding confidence about its commercial success and the film's ability to draw crowds to the theatres, the talented actor shared his journey of collaborating with the team of Varudu Kaavalenu in a media interaction on Thursday.
Association with director Lakshmi Sowjanya:
I met Lakshmi Sowjanya (akka) for the first time at the Chalo success party held in February 2018. She congratulated me for the success of Chalo and narrated a story. It took us nearly four years to bring this film to the audience. It's the second time I'm working with a female director after Nandini Reddy's Oh Baby. There are certainly a few advantages while working with male directors, but the distinct advantage while working with a female director is their patience. They don't get agitated or react easily and are excellent managers. This quality comes naturally to them. Dealing with 500-600 people on sets becomes very easy.
The reason behind choosing Varudu Kaavalenu:
It's natural for many men and women to be asked about their marriage plans when they are in their late 20s or turn 30. Relatives sometimes are overly curious about these matters and it becomes very irritating to handle such situations. It's important to know if the girl and the boy are ready for the relationship yet. When the director narrated a story around such incidents, I immediately identified with it and said yes. Not many have addressed these issues in films and I felt it'll be refreshing for audiences to watch it on the screen. Nearly 70-80% of the character Aakash is similar to my personality. Physically, I had to lose 16 kgs and gain it later for my looks in the film.
His opinion on marriage and modern-day relationships:
I am not against marriage but haven't decided the time yet. The thing with marriages is that you can't exactly plan it. There's something called destiny and it'll take us forward accordingly. I don't have any expectations from my partner but I'll make it a point to respect my future wife, her privacy and her profession. That's the way both of us will be happy. There needs to be love and mutual respect between the couple regardless of love marriage or an arranged marriage.
Special memory with director Trivikram:
We didn't plan to reveal director Trivikram's (garu) contribution to the film and thought of keeping it a surprise. I got to do a scene for which he had written the dialogues and my joy knew no bounds while performing for it. Like what he told at the pre-release event, the flashback sequence is an asset to the film and audiences are certain to find it refreshing.
His confidence about the film:
I had no doubts about the potential of the film while listening to the narration. I was a little sceptical during the shoot but when I saw the rushes in the editing room, I realised it was shaping up much better than I thought. After seeing the final output with the dubbing, re-recording, I am very sure about its prospects. Varudu Kaavalenu has a blockbuster mark written all over it. I am being honest and genuine about it because I can't act when I'm off the camera.
On the audiences that Varudu Kaavalenu will cater to:
This is a youth-centric film completely and will meet the expectations of youngsters. I'll however say it's a mature love story that has all the elements to appeal to younger audiences and family crowds too. The film is about the drama that unfolds before marriage and not after it. It understands the space that a woman needs before she enters into wedlock. It's about a guy who's patient enough to understand her issues and doesn't mind waiting for her, come what may.
About his co-star Ritu Varma:
It's the first time I've acted with Ritu Varma. We may collaborate on another film soon. She is a beautiful woman, a thorough professional, speaks Telugu like a dream. She has dubbed very well for the film. Working with her for Varudu Kaavalenu was a breeze.
On the experience of working with Sithara Entertainments:
The producers, China Babu (garu) and Naga Vamsi are sweet people, know how much to invest in a film and work towards getting the best results from the team.
About Nadhiya's character in Varudu Kaavalenu:
Nadhiya had such a strong character in Attarintiki Daaredi and I was surprised when they cast her in an innocent role in this film. She transformed herself into the middle-class milieu effortlessly and was a natural with comedy. She played a character that's in complete contrast to her image and did a fantastic job of it.
Inspiration from Allu Arjun:
I thank Allu Arjun garu for complimenting my acting skills and calling me a self-made actor. I came with no Godfather into the industry and received support from all corners. His appreciation has given me the motivation to better myself and work harder. The speech truly inspired me.
About his focus on attaining commercial success as an actor:
The fact of the industry is that every leading actor has more flops than hits in their career. I feel an actor needs at least five commercial hits to cement their position in the industry. I already have Chalo in my bag and hope to score those four successes in the times to come. I am game to act in different genres and am hunting for such scripts. I am constantly learning and trying to improve with time.
On the various factors that drive his film choices:
I need good scripts to inspire me as a performer. However, I will only take up films that crowds can watch comfortably with their families. My future films including Lakshya have offered a lot of scope for variations in terms of looks and performances. I hope I do justice to the roles. I don't like to take a lot of gap between my films.
His upcoming releases:
Lakshya is due for a release in November. I'm also working on a home production whose shoot is more or less complete. I have my hopes high on the film with Srinivas Avasarala (garu), Phalana Ammayi Phalana Abbayi where I have a superb role. The film deserves that time for its making and there are seven different shades/variations to my character. I choose all my scripts and never involve anyone in my film selection. Be it success or failure, I am ready to take credit or accept the blame. I don't think I'm ready for OTT content yet.