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Waiting to see how big a festival 'Custody' is going to be: Naga Chaitanya


Naga Chaitanya believes that he won't grow as an actor if he does only romantic movies. 'Custody' is his most action-heavy movie ever. Set to hit the cinemas on May 12, the film has him in an angry role. The evolution and rise of his angry young man's character in the film is organic. "There are quite many layers and family emotions in the movie. The character played by Krithi Shetty has got so much depth," Chay says in the interview, adding that the characters played by Arvind Swami, Priyamani and Sarathkumar are unique. The 'Thank You' actor is so confident that he is eagerly waiting to see how big a festival 'Custody' is going to be for Akkineni fans this Friday. He is also counting on the huge action blocks (shot in a tunnel, in the backdrop of a dam, underwater) to make it big.

The story takes place in a bygone era. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja garu's background score lends authenticity. The notes were given by him, while his son (Yuvan Shankar Raja) was the programmer. The fusion has given a unique touch.

The first 20 minutes of the film is pretty cool. Once Arvind Swami's character enters the screen, the tone and pace gets transformed completely.

I didn't feel burdened despite the fact that 'Custody' was shot in Telugu and Tamil separately. Script-reading workshops were held before the shoot was commenced. I also interacted with a few constables to understand their state of mind. Director Venkat Prabhu gave me enough time to do my homework. It was inspiring to learn about the struggles of constables. I like characters that are rooted. Shiva (Chay's name in the film) is an underdog in the beginning. By the end of the film, he grows to be a larger-than-life individual.

'Kaka Kaka ('Gharshana' in Telugu) is my all-time favourite cop movie. '007', Daniel Craig's cop movies are among my favourites, too. 'Custody' has no commercial ingredients for the sake of it. Every commercial element has a reason in it. The way my character has been put together and the way it evolves into a larger-than-life character is gripping.

The verdict will finally be delivered by the audience no matter what my prediction is. Regardless of its commercial performance, I am not going to stick to a similar kind of genre and character.

The screenplay sense of Venkat Prabhu is unique. His previous film, 'Maanaadu', had a complex plot. Yet, he narrated it so effectively. His script sense is strong. And the execution was better than its narration. The other day, I watched the final output after RR and other works were done. I am totally satisfied.

Arvind Swami is an awesome actor. He brings his own perspective and style to every character. Even after the pack-up, the character stays with him.

The Tamil dubbing took a month. I wanted to dub for my character in order to let the audience connect to my character better.

'Custody' is the costliest movie in my career. The producer (Srinivasa Chitturi) didn't compromise anywhere.

It's a great time to be doing films. It's both challenging and encouraging. If the audience love a movie, they are taking it to the next level. As actors, we have to be aware of the trends and what the audience want. When we fail, we fail at judging during the scripting stage. If not, we get carried away during the making stage.

'Dhootha' is completely done as far as I am concerned. Its release is in the hands of Amazon Prime Video. (The web series, directed by Vikram K Kumar, will most likely start streaming in August after the streaming giant is done with quality control checks).

Updated on May 11, 2023