Naga Shaurya awaits the theatrical release of 'Lakshya' on December 10. In this interview, the actor talks about his character in it, working with director Santossh, actress Ketika Sharma, the likes of Jagapathi Babu and Sachin Khadekar, his future projects, and more.
'Varudu Kaavalenu' was my comfort film. It was my comfort genre and the success of the film satisfied me. 'Lakshya' is a bigger movie in terms of genre. I am expecting it to become a bigger hit. When I listened to the story, I resolved to give my 100%. Stories of this sort are rare to come by. I feel fortunate that I got to do a story of this sort.
It was Asian Cinemas Suniel Narang garu who first called me up, asking me to listen to the story. He narrated the first half for four hours although its run-time is 80 minutes. He told me about the nitty-gritty of Archery. Before he met me, director Santossh had done intensive research into the sport. I watched his first movie, 'Subrahmanyapuram', after he narrated 'Lakshya'.
Archery has been a familiar sport in Indian culture. 'Villu Vidhya' is an education. Even in the trailer for 'RRR', you see Ram Charan's character using an arrow. Since I trained in Archery only for this movie, it was not extremely challenging. But if you want to play it as a professional sportsperson, then the challenge is obviously huge.
'Lakshya' is about how Pardhu (Naga Shaurya's name in the movie) wins over himself and the world. This is my first movie with Sachin Khadekar garu. When he joined our movie, he had just finished his shoot for 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'. He is a big artist and supported our movie in every possible way. Jagapathi Babu is a versatile actor and I enjoyed working with him. I gave my best because I wouldn't get noticed if I don't pull up the socks in the presence of such wonderful actors.
Ketika Sharma was very good in 'Romantic'. I really liked her in it. She is a beautiful girl. She is going to impress the audience big-time in 'Lakshya' as well.
The likes of Allu Arjun garu, Ram Charan garu are working harder than ever to tone up their body. It's because the range of Telugu cinema has gone up a lot in recent years. We have to impress crores of audiences. I too have worked hard to build 8-pack-abs. I didn't drink water for 9 days (in three installments) so that my abs show up. If there is liquid in the body, the abs don't become obvious.
The abs look was needed to convince the audience that Pardhu is a changed man. You can't cheat with your looks. Only a disciplined person can build a toned-up body, right? That's why I did it for the character.
It was great working with producers Suniel garu, Sharrath Marrar garu and Rammohan Rao garu. They took every conceivable precaution during the pandemic.
Marriage has been planned. If there is another lockdown, I will surely get married (laughs).
My next film will be released in two months. It's the fourth film under Ira Creations. For the first time, I have played a Brahmin man in my career. 'Palana Abbayi Palana Ammayi' is close to my heart. I will always be proud of that movie. It has been in the making for 3 years. It will be completed by next year.