EXCLUSIVE: Naga Chaitanya says Aamir Khan video-called to offer Laal Singh Chaddha; His love for Hindi cinema
Naga Chaitanya will make his Bollywood debut with Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer Laal Singh Chaddha.
Naga Chaitanya is a popular Telugu actor and he is all set to make his Bollywood debut with Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha, which also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and Mona Singh in the lead. Naga plays the friend of Khan's Laal Singh in the movie and will be seen in the role of Balaraju Bodi. It is a remake of the 1994 American film Forrest Gump which itself is based on Winston Groom's 1986 novel of the same name.
Now, in an exclusive conversation with Pinkvilla, Naga talked about how he bagged Laal Singh Chaddha and revealed that Aamir personally called him: "I got a call one morning from the casting team saying that they are looking out for someone to cast in Laal Singh (Chaddha) for Bubba aka Balaraju Bodi's role. I was like maybe they are just shopping around and checking who is available, who wants to do it, but a few hours later, Aamir sir video called me and I was shocked because I don't get a video call from an actor like Mr. Aamir Khan very often and usually they ask if 'You're interested or would you like to come and meet'? but it was not like that. Aamir sir immediately called a few hours later and expressed his interest and wanted me to hear the script that night so I remember at 11.30 pm, Advait (Chandan) got on a Zoom call and he narrated the entire script to me. It went up till 1:30-2:00 at night and that's when I got all the energy I needed," Naga added.
"When Aamir sir called itself, half the job was done. I was sure I wanted to do this film because working next to him is something, I was always looking forward to and you learn so much as an actor working with such people and after I heard the script it was the icing on the cake. Even though it's a special role, it's for about 20-30 minutes of the film, but my purpose is there throughout. It gives Laal's character a direction and there are so many aspects in the film," he said.
Further, sharing his favourite memory with Aamir, he said that in Kargil, they would drive for 2 hours to reach the location and he would next to Aamir in the car. "He would eat breakfast, and play his favourite songs for me. He has got a huge collection of the 70s, 80s & 90s Hindi songs. He is very particular about the lyrics and my Hindi isn't the best, so he would explain the lyrics," Naga said.
Naga talked about why it took him 13 years to do Hindi film and said that when he initially started off his career, he spent most of his time mastering and improving himself in the Telugu cinema because of the responsibility of coming from a family of fantastic actors and filmmakers. Naga said that his heart and soul has always been in the South cinema but he has always loved Hindi cinema and the content the makers do. "They really push the boundary and there's so much talent too. When I wanted to come here, I wanted to come with the right presentation and wanted someone like Aamir sir to guide and present me here because the first impression is very important and the judgment is formed based on that." The actor added that Laal Singh Chaddha was the right opportunity and said that even if it happened 13 years, it's the best thing that happened to him. Meanwhile, the film is scheduled to release on 11 August 2022.