The myriad looks of good-looking baddies in today’s Telugu cinema

From Nagarjuna to Nikhil Siddhartha, Telugu actors prefer to play massy roles rather than playing the boy next door.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published Oct 14, 2023 | 11:10 PMUpdatedOct 16, 2023 | 10:30 AM

Nagarjuna and Nikhil Siddhartha in their upcoming movies

Getting a massy makeover is the new fad for Telugu heroes. Being a baddie is more heroic than playing boy-next-door roles. Filmmakers are not shying away from materialising their quirky ideas on paper.

As this new trend is picking up pace, let’s hope that this popular taste is received well by audiences.

Nagarjuna turns ruthless

Nagarjuna Akkineni is returning to the silver screen after almost a year. His upcoming movie Naa Saami Ranga will have actors Mirnaa, Kajal Aggarwal, Allari Naresh, Ashika Ranganath, and Raj Tarun in key roles.

Nagarjuna plays a massy role in the film, which is a remake of a Malayalam hit titled Porinju Mariam Jose (2019). It tells the story of Porinju and Mariyam, who love each other but stay unmarried and remain friends.

The film is being directed by popular choreographer Vijay Binni and produced by Srinivasaa Chitturi. Nagarjuna is going through a massive makeover for this movie.

Also Read: I’ve learnt the art of acting through dance, says Sreeleela

Naga Chaitanya as a fisherman

Only a few films demand more from actors. From the mannerisms to the slang to the attire, to the body language, the protagonist has to bring a realistic side of this alternative self to the screen. That’s what Naga Chaitanya is trying to showcase in his upcoming film with a massy role as a fisherman.

This untitled film is based on the true story of fishermen from the Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh. Directed by Chandoo Mondeti, the film stars Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi in the lead roles. Bunny Vasu is producing it under the Geetha Arts banner.

The film is based on real incidents that occurred in 2018. The fishermen were jailed in Karachi and were only released in May 2023 after agreements between the governments of India and Pakistan.

To prepare for the film, Chaitanya and Mondeti spent time with fishermen’s families in the village of K Machilesam in Srikakulam. The team tried to understand the fishermen’s ordeals and their way of life, their land, culture, and traditions.

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Varun Tej in different avatars

After playing a spy in his last outing — Gandeevadhari Arjuna (2023) — actor Varun Tej is readying himself to play a massy role for an ambitious project titled Matka. The film is set between 1958 and 1982. Varun Tej portrays four different avatars in the film.

This action potboiler is directed by Karuna Kumar and stars Varun Tej, Meenakshi Chaudhary, and Bollywood star Nora Fatehi in the lead roles.

The movie is based on a real-life incident that shook the entire nation, as claimed by the makers. The film is being shot in Visakhpatnam.

The story spans 24 years and Varun Tej appears in four different avatars. Meenakshi plays Varun Tej’s love interest and Nora has a special role. The film’s music is composed by GV Prakash Kumar.

Priya Seth did the cinematography and Karthika Srinvas R edited the film. The film is produced by Mohan Cherukuri (CVM) and Dr Vijender Reddy Teegala under the Vyra Entertainments banner.

Nikhil as a warrior

After hogging nationwide attention with his film Karthikeya 2 (2022), actor Nikhil Siddhartha couldn’t sustain the momentum with his last film Spy (2023).

He is bracing for another interesting story. He is set to play a warrior in his next film, titled Swayambhu. The film is a fantasy-action-romance entertainer.

Swayambhu is directed by Bharat Krishnamachari and produced by Bhuvan and Sreekar. The film’s first-look poster shows Siddhartha as a warrior on the battlefield and it has grabbed the attention of film lovers.

Starting as an assistant director in the 2006 film Hyderabad Nawabs, Nikhil found a place for himself with Happy Days in 2007. His flick Swayambu will be released in all South Indian languages.