Nani on turning host with Telugu Bigg Boss: I see it as one more way to connect with audiences

Haricharan Pudipeddi

June 03, 2018 14:43:30 IST

The year, 2018 began on a high for Nani as his plunge into film production with Prashant Varma’s Awe! paid off richly, earning critical acclaim as well as setting the cash registers on fire. However, on the acting front, his maiden release of the year — the highly anticipated Merlapaka Gandhi-directed Krishnarjuna Yudham — failed to click at the box-office, ending the actor’s success streak after delivering three back-to-back blockbusters in 2017.

In an exclusive interview with Firstpost, Nani talks about the failure of Krishnarjuna Yuddham; being chosen to host the Telugu version of Bigg Boss and why he wants to continue producing content that not many would dare to touch.

Come 10 June, Nani is all set to make a splash on television as the second season of Bigg Boss Telugu goes on air. Nani doesn’t see this as a calculated move to earn a new set of audiences. “I just see this as one more way to connect with my audience. Through my films, I can connect with them once or twice in a year. But through this show, I can stay in touch with them for good three months every week. I’m more curious about how I will be received in this medium which I’m yet to fully explore.

Nani in Bigg Boss Telugu season 2 promo. Facebook

Nani in Bigg Boss Telugu season 2 promo. Facebook

Asked if he sees television as a medium of growth as an actor, Nani said that he didn’t think too much when he accepted the offer. “The reach on television is huge, but I took up this offer just to see if I can pull this off. I’ve always wanted to explore new things in life. Be it the roles I do in my films or the endeavours I take up, I’ve tried to challenge myself and this is one such attempt,” he said, adding that he was pleasantly surprised when some random public polls chose him as the next best contender for the show's host. “I was quite surprised by some of these polls when I was approached for Bigg Boss. When I saw them, I was convinced that people are looking forward to (see) me on television. I also believe my stint as host for IIFA awards also convinced them that I was suitable for this.”

Nani is currently shooting for a yet-untitled Telugu project with Akkineni Nagarjuna. Last week, the actor created a sensation on social media with his candid confession about the failure of Krishnarjuna Yuddham. When the OTT (over-the-top) content service provider Yupp TV advertised the premiere of 'super hit' film Krishnarjuna Yuddham, Nani was quick to clarify with a candid reply. In Telugu, he wrote that the film was no super hit. He went on to say that it didn’t even run well. Nevertheless, he said it’s a film they made with all heart. His tweet won over fans that couldn’t stop raving about his honest attitude. His tweet had over 800 replies and over 2000 people had retweeted it. He said he didn’t think it would become such a big deal.

“It was a very instant reaction. A lot of people knew that Krishnarjuna Yuddham didn’t do well and there was no denying it. I replied with the sole intention of clarifying that the film didn’t work as expected, but we still made it with lot of heart. Not every film is made for all kinds of audiences. Some films work and some don’t. Since Krishnarjuna Yuddham was being streamed legally, I wanted people to watch it. But when I read this tweet, I thought I should clarify and it was a very matter-of-fact response,” Nani said, adding that the result of the film didn’t affect him.

“Irrespective of the films I do, I want audiences to watch them because only then will I understand their pulse. After I tweeted about Krishnarjuna Yuddham streaming online, a lot of people watched and felt it wasn’t a bad film. It didn’t click due to various reasons. As more people start watching my films, I can gather audiences to take risks tomorrow. I’d also want to do a Dangal, but I need to assemble audience for such attempts. There are people who disliked Awe! but loved MCA and vice versa. I’ll have to assemble all these people when I take bigger risks. It’ll only happen when they watch my films.”

On teaming up with Nagarjuna for Sriram Aditya’s upcoming crime-thriller, Nani said he’s having a whale of a time shooting for this project. “It’s been over a month and a half since we started shooting. Nag sir is the coolest actor I’ve ever worked with. I’ve been an actor for nearly a decade and I know how much stress I take when it comes to my work. I learnt you don’t have to take so much stress when I work with Nag sir. He knows what's important and how to prioritize. I feel like I'm working with someone my age.”

Nani is ready to don the producer’s hat again. He said the hunt is still on to find a project to bet on. “I will only produce films that no other producer would bet on. I believe it’s very important to back new talent. However, I’m not in a hurry to produce films and I will only do it when I find a suitable project.”

Updated Date: Jun 03, 2018 14:43 PM