Naga Chaitanya Akkineni is an Indian actor who primarily works in the Telugu film industry. Chaitanya made his acting debut in the year 2009 with the Telugu movie Josh. The actor has since then appeared in several successful movies such as Ye Maaya Chesave
(2010) and Manam
Chaitanya was born to actor and entrepreneur Akkineni Nagarjuna and Lakshmi Daggubati, the daughter of producer D. Ramanaidu, in Chennai. His family has been connected with the film industry for over many years as his paternal grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao
was an actor as well, while his maternal uncle Daggubati Venkatesh
and cousins Sumanth, Sushant, and Rana Daggubati
are also actors. After his parents divorced, his father married the former actress Amala Mukherjee. He has a half brother Akhil Akkineni
, born to Amala
After his parents were separated, Chaitanya lived with his mother in Chennai. As a child he was interested in music and also played keyboard and bass guitar for his school band. He even studied keyboard from the acclaimed Trinity College London. Chaitanya completed his schooling from the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan school in Chennai and later pursued a degree in B. Com from a college in Hyderabad. It was during his second year of graduation that he expressed his interest in acting and also enrolled in a three-month course in acting in Mumbai. He also learned acting and martial arts in Los Angeles and also trained to perfect his Telugu diction.
Chaitanya is in a relationship with his co-star Samantha Ruth Prabhu
, whom he has worked with in movies such as Ye Maaya Chesave and Manam. The couple fell in love while they were shooting for the movie Autonagar Surya
. In 2017, the couple got engaged in a small ceremony in Hyderabad, taking all of their fans by surprise.
Chaitanya began his acting career in 2009 with the movie Josh, directed by Vasu Varma
, opposite Samantha Ruth Prabhu. Essaying the character of a college student, Chaitanya went on to win the Filmfare Award South for Best Make Debut Actor. Rediff.com, the online portal wrote, as a debutant, Naga Chaitanya has performed well. He has his moments where he`s proven himself. There is always scope for improvement and one hopes that he will hone his skills in the years to come".
In the following year, Chaitanya starred in a romantic role in the movie Ye Maaya Chesave, directed by Gautam Menon
. Ye Maaya Chesave is the Telugu version of the bilingual Tamil movie Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, which has a different cast and climax. His performance, according to many critics, was much improved in his second movie and Sify.com, an online portal, wrote: Naga Chaitanya is at home in romantic scenes. his asset is his voice and his casual acting style. Chaitanya has improved much better in performance from his first film. He can now confidently act in more romantic films and strengthen his position." The review also stated that though Chaitanya seems at ease while essaying the character, he looks very boyish. However, the actor received a nomination for Filmfare Award South in the Best Actor Male category. His next movie 100% Love, released in 2011, was also a romantic drama directed by Sukumar. In this movie, Chaitainya portrayed the character of a studious and egoistic college student. He was yet again praised for his acting but was also received mixed comments on his action scenes and dancing skills.
After delivering three hits in a row, his next two movies - Dhada
directed by debutant director Ajay Bhuyan
, and Bejawada
directed by Vivek Krishna
- turned out to be disappointing. Both the movies bombed at the box office with Chaitanya receiving negative reviews from the critics. However, Chaitanya managed to silence the critics with his next movie, Tadakha
(2013), an official remake of the Tamil movie Vettai
. The film was a box office success and Chaitanya was praised for his work, with The Hindu quoting: Naga Chaitanya shows tremendous improvement over his last outing, the debacle called Bejawada. He is in sync with his role, exudes confidence and seems to have had fun both during the stunt sequences and comic portions. Reprising a role played by an established actor like Arya is no mean task and Chaitanya pulls it off rather well.
Chaitanya next shared screen space with his grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao
, and father Akkineni Nagarjuna
, in the movie Manam
(2014), a period drama directed by Vikram Kumar
. The actor essayed two roles in the movie - a middle class employee who is a father of an eight year old son in 1983 and a happy college student in 2013.
In 2014, he also starred in the movie Autonagar Surya in a role which was unlike any of his previous roles - the movie directed by Deva Katta
features Chaitanya in an intense role. Although the movie received mixed reviews at the box office The Hindu praised the actor`s performance quoting: One rarely gets to see Naga Chaitanya smiling in this film. Chaitanya brings in the right amount of grit and intensity required for his role and shows that he can carry a film on his shoulders with the help of an able director." His next two movies Oka Laila Kosam
(2014) and Dochay
(2015) turned out to be average grossers at the box office. The actor`s 2016 release includes Premam
where he stars alongside Shruti Hassan
. The movie became one of his biggest successes and earned him a lot of praise. His next few films received average reviews. In 2018 he played his own grandfather, Nageswara Rao, in the biopic Mahanati
. His next big hit was the romantic sports drama Majili
, which became the highest grossing film of his career to date. In 2019 he appeared in Venky Mama
, which was directed by K. S. Ravindra. He then featured in Love Story (2021) opposite Sai Pallavi.