After intense turns in Tuck Jagadish and Shyam Singha Roy, Nani is kicking off 2022 with the romantic comedy Ante Sundaraniki. Directed by Vivek Athreya, the film also stars Nazriya Fahadh in the lead role. Ahead of the movie’s simultaneous release in Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam on June 10, Nani interacted with the media in Hyderabad.
Here are excerpts from the conversation.
You are known for your comic timing. What can we expect from Ante Sundaraniki?
Ante Sundaraniki is a unique comedy. Vivek wrote it in such a way that it will not be similar to my previous works in any manner.
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How did you prepare for your role in the movie?
There was no prep as such. Our intention was to make the audience love my character Sundar. That was the biggest task for us. And, I think we cracked it.
Tell us about your experience working with director Vivek Athreya.
Many ask me why I work with directors who are just two or three films old. It is a pleasure to be a part of the journey of future leading directors rather than present directors. When I met Vivek and had conversations with him, I realised that he would be one of the leading directors in the future. He has an original style of filmmaking, and nobody can envision stories like him.
How do you believe in the work of new directors?
I always go with my gut feeling. I had no body of work when I was new. Many have made films with a belief in me, and I am here today. So I also need to give that kind of platform to talented people.
This film discusses interfaith marriages. Yours was a love marriage. Did you face any difficulties before your marriage?
Mine was a love marriage and a happy marriage. Our two families had conversations nicely and arranged the marriage. But the only little problem back then for me was that they (Nani’s wife’s side) are a family of scientists, and I am into movies. Earlier, they were concerned about my future. But later, they believed in me.
Movies from south India are finding takers across the country. What is your take on it?
It’s a golden phase for cinema. When a film wins hearts without any regional barriers, that means good days are here for cinema.
What is your take on pan-India films?
In my view, a film won’t be a pan-India film if we say that ourselves. Pan-India is not a term we can simply have on a poster. The audience should call a film a pan-India film. If the content is good, it will find takers. For instance, take the case of Pushpa. Story-wise, it has no connection with North India. It’s a story that takes place in the forests of the south. But the whole country embraced it because of its gripping content. So, we should concentrate on content more than anything else.
Is there a recent film or character that you really liked?
When I saw Jai Bhim, I felt like having that kind of story in my filmography. More than that, I felt that it would be good if we can tell such stories to the Telugu audience. Jai Bhim is a film that leaves us thinking.
Tell us about Dasara.
25 percent of the shooting has been completed. I can say that it is going to be the most raw film ever made in Telugu cinema.
Tell us about your production ventures.
Meet Cute will be a direct-to-OTT release. Adivi Sesh-starrer HIT 2 will release in July.