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Naga Chaitanya Opens Up On The Eve Of His New Tamil-Telugu bilingual Release Custody.



Custody is a curious title for a Telugu film?

We’ve shot it in two separate  languages Tamil and Telugu, not dubbed the Telugu into Tamil, but actually done  it in two languages. I play a police constable.


Yes.I play an  underdog. It the  story  of my journey  as to how I  evolve as a human being and a responsible cop,when pushed  to a corner.  The  whole plot unfolds within  two days. My character has  to protect  a criminal.

How do you mean, protect?

Yes,protect a crime-accused, played by Arvind Swamy Sir, whom my character has to protect. Can’t allow him to die.It is a  very interesting twist in the hero-villain equation. Usually we see  the hero trying to kill the villain. But here the hero must  somehow keep the villain alive. He is in my custody.

 Hence  the  title.

(laughs) hence  the title Custody.It is unlike any  other film I’ve done so far.

I was  watching  a Marathi film Ved the  other day. It is a remake of your  film?

 Yes, Majili.I believe  the Marathi version has also done very well.I heard Ritiesh Deshmukh has also directed the  film. I am happy for him.  I haven’t seen  the remake. I will, one of these days. Majili is  a film very  close to my heart.

Coming back to  Custody,do you have lots of action to perform?

 It is an all-out actioner. The  script  goes through various action episodes. There is an elaborate  underwater action episode, there is  an action sequence in a train…The stunts have  been choreographed  with great care. I would say, the action scenes are the  highlight. Also, Arvind Swamy Sir.

How  was it working with him?

Oh it’s always  a pleasure working with experienced  actors, whether it is  Arvind Swamy Sir or my  dad(the iconic Nagarjuna).Arvind Swami and I   are together in the film almost throughout. So I got to  spend a lot of time with him.Our characters go through many stages  together, as enemies, friends, almost brothers…..So there is  a lot of layering happening as we are on-the-run together.

Did you  undergo a full physical transformation for Custody like  your brother Akhil  did for Agent? You don’t seem to me like the shirt-dropping type?

If the  script demands it , why not? I won’t do it just for the heck of it.But I am playing a police constable  in Custody . So I  don’t need  to  rip off my shirt.The audiences are seeing through gimmicks these days.You can’t  fool the audience. Mine is a very real film. It is  treated  in a  very authentic way.

You come at  a  time when films are not doing well?

What  gives me hope  is that we’ve remained honest to the script. Even I’ve experienced failures when we  haven’t been honest.We’ve done gimmicky things  to attract audiences. But that didn’t work.This time we are very honest to the script. That’s what gives me the confidence  this time..

I loved your film  Love Story with Sai Pallavi?Who’s your leading lady in Custody?

Yes , it is  also one of my favourites. My co-star in Custody is Kreethi Shetty.We worked together  in a film called Bangaraju with me and Dad.

I know, I am sorry to  say I didn’t  like that  film at  all.

(Laughs) Please  don’t be  sorry.It  was done in a totally massy texture.

I loved  your cameo in Laal Singh Chaddha?

Oh, really? For me working with Aamir Sir was  my biggest takeaway.

Is  Custody getting a pan-India release?

Our target  audience  is  the Tamil and Telugu moviegoers. The director  Venkat Prabhu is very popular in Tamil Nadu. He has done a lot of hit films in  Tamil. This is why we decided to make the film in Tamil as  well as Telugu. Beyond this, whatever we get  is  a bonus.  No dubbing in Hindi.

Your  brother  Akhil recently  went through a  setback when his  ambitious film Agent tanked?

Yes, he  went through a  complete physical transformation  for  the role.He is very hardworking , determined and sincere.

How is your Hindi now?

Still very average.There, I have not evolved at  all(laughs).

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