Nani (actor)
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Nani Actor

Nani at Aaha Kalyanam audio launch (cropped).jpg
Nani at Aaha Kalyanam audio launch in January 2014
Born Naveen B?bu Ga
(1984-02-24) 24 February 1984 (age 34)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Residence Hyderabad, India
Other names Natural Star[1]
Occupation Actor, producer, television presenter, assistant director
Years active 2008-present
Anjana Yalavarthi (m. 2012)
Children Arjun
Website Official website

Nani (born as Naveen Babu Ghanta on 24 February 1984),[2] is an Indian film actor, producer, media personality, and television presenter known for his work in Telugu cinema. He was an assistant director and worked with Srinu Vaitla and Bapu,[3] before working as an RJ for World Space Satellite in Hyderabad.[4]

Nani made his film debut in 2008 with the hit romantic comedy Ashta Chamma. He then starred in commercially successful films such as Ride (2009), Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu (2010), Ala Modalaindi (2011), Pilla Zamindar (2011), Eega (2012), Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu (2012), Yevade Subramanyam (2015), Bhale Bhale Magadivoy (2015), Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha (2016), Gentleman (2016), Nenu Local (2017), Ninnu Kori (2017), and MCA (Middle Class Abbayi) (2017), some of which rank among the List of highest-grossing Telugu films.

In 2013, Nani produced his first film D for Dopidi, which became a commercial success at the box office. In 2018, his second production venture Awe, was also commercially and critically successful.

In 2018, Nani began his television career and hosted Bigg Boss Telugu 2, the second season of the popular reality TV show Bigg Boss in Telugu. The second season began airing on 10 June 2018 and concluded on 30 September 2018.

He won the State Nandi Award for Best Actor for Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu, and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor - South for Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.[5] He was also nominated twice for the Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award, for the films Bhale Bhale Magadivoy and Gentleman. He is referred to by his fans as 'Natural Star'. He is considered to be one of the most popular stars of Telugu cinema.

Early and personal life

Nani was brought up in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. He did his schooling from St. Alphonsa's High School and then studied in Narayana Junior College, S.R Nagar before graduating from Wesley's.[4]

Nani got engaged on 12 August 2012 to Anjana Yelavarthy. The couple married on 27 October that year in a private ceremony in the city.[6]

He is known as one of the finest actor from Telugu industry with his ease skills in natural acting and comedy timing.


Career beginnings and struggle (2008-2011)

During his graduation, Nani "got addicted" to movies, citing Mani Ratnam as a big influence on him.[4] He wanted to become a director; thanks to producer Anil, who was a distant relative of his, Nani could join director Bapu as a "clap director" for the film Radha Gopalam that Anil was producing at that time.[4] He then worked for films including Allari Bullodu, Dhee and Astram. Nani took a sabbatical to work on a film script. Nandini Reddy, a friend who was then working as a radio jockey for World Space Satellite, offered Nani work as an RJ.[4] He accepted and worked for one year, hosting a program named "Non-Stop Nani".[7] He was offered the film Ashta Chamma, also starring Swati Reddy, when the film's director Mohan Krishna Indraganti noticed him in an advertisement.[4] Ashta Chamma was well received by critics and Nani's performance was praised by them. wrote "Nani has a very good screen presence. He has good emotions and dances well, though his body language sometimes reminds of Subhalekha Sudhakar - May this be treated as a compliment to the ease that the veteran actor shows on the screen! His diction is good too."[8][9] His second film, Ride, was produced by Bellamkonda Suresh in which Tanish, Swetha Basu Prasad and Aksha Pardasany played important roles. Ride was also a notable success at the Box office.[10] He next starred in Satyam Bellamkonda's film Snehituda... opposite Maadhavi Latha. Snehituda opened to negative reviews and the film was a flop at the Box office.[11] In 2010, he played the main role in the film Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu, a remake of Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, with Saranya Mohan reprising her role as the heroine. The film opened to positive reviews with Nani's performance receiving appreciation. Rediff said Nani "perfectly fits the bill" and praised him for selecting the script,[12] and Oneindia Entertainment commented that Nani "has given his best" and "suited perfectly to the role".[13] The film was a surprise hit at the box office.[14]

Breakthrough and initial success (2011-2012)

His first release in 2011, Ala Modalaindi, was a romantic comedy written and directed by Nandini Reddy. Nithya Menen was the female lead of the film and it was her debut in Telugu. It was told that many of the scenes in the film were inspired from the life of Nani and Nandini Reddy. Nani's performance in the film received positive reviews, with critics noting that he was "completely natural" and "living [his] role".[15][16] The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office.[17] Simultaneously he did a Tamil film, Veppam, with his friend Anjana as director which marked his Debut in Tamil cinema. Veppam received mixed reviews, but Nani and Bindu Madhavi were appreciated. The Times of India called their debuts as "confident"[18] while Sify called Nani's performance as "riveting" and added that the viewer "can't take eyes off" him.[19] It was dubbed into Telugu as Sega. Both the versions were flops at the respective Box offices.[20] Later in 2011, Nani had his last release in Pilla Zamindar, in which he and Srinivas Avasarala were once again seen together after Ashta Chemma. Pilla Zamindar opened to mostly positive reviews from critics, and Nani's performance as a spoilt-brat-turned-leader was well appreciated. Rediff wrote "Pilla Zamindar is Nani's show all the way. He lives up to the role and can portray the kaleidoscope of emotions demanded of him. "[21] IndiaGlitz wrote, "Performance-wise, Nani delivers a matured output in the second half as a youth in self-introspecting and self-correcting mode."[22] The film was a Hit at the Box office prompting a Tamil dubbed release under the title Jameen. Nani's next release was S. S. Rajamouli's live action project Eega. Shot simultaneously in Tamil as Naan Ee, it featured Nani, Samantha Akkineni and Kannada actor Sudeep. Eega received an unusual, positive response with Nani's act being praised. IBN Live commented that Nani "sizzled" in his performance[23] while Rediff praised that Nani "makes a mark in his brief role".[24] The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office and was dubbed into Hindi as Makkhi and into Malayalam as Eecha.[25]

Ajay Devgan, Nani and Rajamouli during the special screening of Makkhi-(Hindi dubbed version of Eega (2012))

His last release in 2012 was Gautham Menon's Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu opposite Samantha Akkineni once again. It was the simultaneously shot Telugu version of the Tamil film Neethane En Ponvasantham which featured Jiiva in place of Nani. Nani made a guest appearance in the Tamil version too. His portrayal of Varun Krishna was highly appreciated by critics. The Hindu wrote "Nani rises to the occasion with a mature performance. He speaks volumes through his eyes and conveys Varun's thoughts through the smallest of mannerisms. The climax completely belongs to him."[26]IndiaGlitz wrote "If Samantha's maturity as an actor is obvious, Nani's knack is equally brilliant. He is quintessentially natural and is almost impeccable. The way he sings "Priyatama Neevachata Kushalama" sets the stage for a performance that deserves a big round of applause."[27] His performance in Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu is considered to be one of his best performances till date. IndiaGlitz while reviewing the Telugu version of his 2014 Tamil film Aaha Kalyanam wrote: "Nani's best-ever act is 'Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu' and he may not better that act soon, that is in a similar role".[28] Though the film received mixed reviews from film critics,[29] it had a positive response at the box office, especially in multiplexes due to Nani and Samantha's performances[30] and was declared a Hit at the Box Office.[31]

Commercial fluctuations and film production (2013-2015)

Nani turned producer for the film D for Dopidi, which was co-produced by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. and starred Sundeep Kishan and Varun Sandesh. He also lent his voice to the film.[32] The film was a success at the box office.[33]

In 2014, Nani was first seen in Krishna Vamsi's Paisa. The film revolved around the power of money and its influence over everything in society.[34] Nani played the role of Prakash, a Sherwani model who is obsessed with gaining money.[35] The film opened to negative reviews, yet Nani's performance was appreciated by critics. The Hindu wrote, "Nani holds the film together and proves his merit yet again. He shuns all the refinement he showed in his previous romantic characters and breathes life into the part of a smart Alec threatening to hold up the shooting of a sherwani commercial for Rs. 200 more. The film's highlight is the scene where he chances upon bags of cash and his reaction after that."[36] The film was a disaster at the box office.[37] He next starred in Yash Raj Films' maiden south Indian production Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of the 2010 Hindi film Band Baaja Baarat (also produced by Yash Raj Films). It was partly shot simultaneously in Telugu under the same title. The film received mixed to negative reviews, but Nani's performance as Shakti was well received. Sify called his performance "pitch-perfect".[38] While IndiaGlitz wrote, "Nani is the apple of everyone's eyes once again, adding a good dose of humour in his presence".[39] Behindwoods commented that "Aaha Kalyanam provides great scope for the leads and Nani, who is known for his intense roles, fits the character of a carefree youth perfectly, with his broken English and casual attitude." This movie was a commercial failure.[40] In 2015, Nani played a dual role for the first time in the political thriller film Janda Pai Kapiraju, co-starring Amala Paul. The film was simultaneously made in Tamil as Nimirndhu Nil with Jayam Ravi in Nani's role. This movie was a disaster at the box office.[41][42]

Further sucess and stardom (2015-present)

His another release Yevade Subramanyam was also released on the same date of Jenda Pai Kapiraju to a majority of positive response and reviews and was commercially successful. Sangeetha Devi of The Hindu wrote "Nani is a fine actor and lives the part of Subramanyam, mirroring the insecurities of the work force caught in a rat race. As he sheds the corporate mask, he comes into his own, one step at a time on the mountains."[43] On 4 September 2015, Nani's Bhale Bhale Magadivoy hit the screens directed by Maruthi Dasari and produced by geetha arts in association with UV creations the movie received positive responses from critics Pranita Jonnalagedda of The Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated that Bhale Bhale Magadivoy comes across as a "breath of fresh air" because it "successfully keeps itself away from the regular formula of romantic comedies [and is] devoid of the oh-so-overused cliches" and is a "delight for anyone looking for wholesome entertainment".[44] The film was a BlockBuster at the box office and went on to become the fourth-highest grossing Telugu film of all time at the United States box office.[45]

In 2016, his first movie was Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha. An romantic comedy interlaced adventure thriller film with a rural backdrop written and directed by Hanu Raghavapudi and produced under the banner of 14 Reels Entertainment saw newcomer Mehreen Pirzada as the female lead. The film opened with positive response from critics, Sangeetha Devi Dundoo of The Hindu while giving the movie 3 out of 5 stars said that "Hanu Raghavapudi proves his mettle with Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha and makes it an entertaining watch".[46] The movie fared really well at the box office. Thus, became Nani's biggest opener in India, beating the records of his last film Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.[47]

Nani's second release in 2016 was Gentleman, a romantic murder mystery thriller directed by his mentor Indraganti Mohan Krishna, who introduced him with Ashta Chamma. Nani played dual role in the film. The movie was released to positive reviews and went on to become Nani's 3rd highest grosser after Eega and Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.[48][49] His last release in 2016 was a romantic comedy titled Majnu.[50]

In 2017, Nani worked in Nenu Local co-starring Keerthy Suresh , Ninnu Kori,[51] and MCA (Middle Class Abbayi).

His next project was Krishnarjuna Yudham, which released on 12 April 2018.[52] This movie was Nani's first failure after 8 consecutive successes at the box office.[53] He launched his film production venture Awe with an announcement of the first film in this banner titled "?!". His production venture was successful in 2018. His next projects include Devadas, a comedy multistarrer which is slated to release in late 2018, in which he stars alongside star actor Akkineni Nagarjuna, as well as a sports drama Jersey, which is currently in pre production. In June 2018, Nani also started hosting the reality TV show Bigg Boss Telugu 2.



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role(s) Notes
2008 Ashta Chamma Ram Babu / Mahesh Film debut
2009 Ride Arjun
Snehituda... Sai
2010 Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu Suribabu
2011 Ala Modalaindi Gautham
Veppam Karthi Tamil film dubbed into Telugu as "Sega"
Pilla Zamindar Praveen Jayaramaraju
2012 Eega Nani Simultaneously filmed in Tamil as Naan Ee
Toronto After Dark Best Hero Award
Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu Varun Krishna Nandi Award for Best Actor
2014 Paisa Prakash
Aaha Kalyanam Shakthi Tamil film dubbed into Telugu
2015 Janda Pai Kapiraju Aravind Shivashankar / Maya Kannan Dual Role
Yevade Subramanyam M. Subramanyam
Bhale Bhale Magadivoy Luckkaraju (Lucky) Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor - South
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu
2016 Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha Krishna Nominated - IIFA Utsavam 2016 Best Performance in a Leading Role- Male
Gentleman Gautham / Jaya ram mullapudi (Jai) Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu
Dual Role
Majnu Aditya
2017 Nenu Local Babu
Ninnu Kori Uma Maheswara Rao
MCA (Middle Class Abbayi) Nani
2018 Krishnarjuna Yuddham Krishna / Arjun Jayaprakash Dual Role
Devadas Dasu Multi-starrer with Nagarjuna
2019 Jersey Films that have not yet been released Arjun Pre Production


Cameo appearances



Year Title Language Role Channel
2018 Bigg Boss Telugu 2 Telugu Host Star Maa

Awards and recognition

Year Award Category Film Result Ref.
2011 Vijay Award Best Debut Actor Veppam Won
SIIMA Award Best Male Debutant Nominated
2012 Toronto After Dark Best Hero Eega Won [54]
South Indian International Movie Awards Rising Male Hero Won
2013 Nandi Awards Best Actor Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu Won
2015 Filmfare Awards South Best Critics Actor - South Bhale Bhale Magadivoy Won
Filmfare Awards South Best Actor Nominated
South Indian International Movie Awards Best Actor Nominated
CineMAA Awards Nominated
2016 Filmfare Awards South Best Actor Gentleman Nominated
IIFA Utsavam Best Performance in a leading role - Male Nominated
2017 Zee Cinemalu Awards 2017 Boy Next Door Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha Won [55]
Golden Star of the Year Won [56]
TSR-TV9 National Film Awards Special Jury Award for Popular Choice Gentleman Won [57]


  1. ^ "Nani gets the tag of 'Natural Star'".
  2. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ "Nani Biography". Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Nani interview - Telugu Cinema interview - Telugu film actor". 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Winners of the 63rd Britannia Filmfare Awards (South) Archived 2 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. (18 June 2016). Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Hero Nani-Anjana Marriage Today?". Cinema Mama. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Introducing Nani (Astha Chemma film) - Telugu cinema news". Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Movie Review : Ashta Chamma". 5 September 2008. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ "'Ashta Chamma' unit shocked". The Hindu. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ "'Telugu producer Bellam Konda says the future belongs to the younger generation". IBN Live. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ "Hits and Flops of 2009 - Exclusive". 1 January 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "'Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu is gripping". 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ "Bheemili Kabaddi - Review". Oneindia Entertainment. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "2010 Roundup- Hits and Flops - Exclusive". 29 December 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "Ala Modalaindi film review - Telugu cinema Review - Nani & Nitya Menon". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ "Ala Modalaindi is entertaining". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ "Ala Modalaindi's success party". The Times of India. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "Veppam Review". The Times of India. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "Movie Review : Veppam". 30 July 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ "Nani and Nithya bags a flop with Sega". 30 July 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ "Review: Pilla Zamindar is Nani's show all the way". 14 October 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^ "Pilla Zamindar - College set-up scores, routine screenplay mars". IndiaGlitz. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "Telugu Review: 'Eega' is a cerebral revenge". IBN Live. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ "Review: Eega is brilliant cinema". 6 July 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ "Eega beats Mahesh Babu's Businessman collections". The Times of India. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ "Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu: Like a gentle breeze". The Hindu. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  27. ^ "Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu - Gripping conversational love story". IndiaGlitz. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ "Aaha Kalyanam - A rom-com in right mind". IndiaGlitz. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  29. ^ "Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu bags mostly positive reviews from film critics". Oneindia Entertainment. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ "YVM: Samantha casting a spell on audiences". Retrieved 2012.
  31. ^ "Tollywood Hits and Flops 2012 - Exclusive". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  32. ^ "Actor Nani to turn producer". The Times of India. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ "TWO STARS REIGNED IN 2013". 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  34. ^ "In the end, Krishna Vamsi's Paisa is all about the moolah". The Hindu. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  35. ^ "Nani as Prakash, Catherine as Noor in Paisa". The Times of India. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  36. ^ "Paisa: Dance of money". The Hindu. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  37. ^ "Exclusive: Box office report for the week ending 16/02/14". 16 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  38. ^ "Movie Review: Aaha Kalyanam". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  39. ^ "Aaha Kalyanam - Happily ever after". IndiaGlitz. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  40. ^ "Aaha Kalyanam Movie Review".
  41. ^ "Jenda Pai Kapiraju to release on March 7?". The Times of India. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  42. ^ "Jandapai Kapiraju releasing finally". Iqlikmovies.
  43. ^ Dundoo, Sangeetha Devi (22 March 2015). "Yevade Subramanyam: A quest for identity". The Hindu.
  44. ^ "Bhale Bhale Magadivoi Movie Review". The Times of India. 26 November 2015.
  45. ^ "US box office collection: 'Bhale Bhale Magadivoy' unlikely to beat Pawan Kalyan's 'Attarintiki Daredi' record". International Business Times. 13 October 2015. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015.
  46. ^ "Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha: This 'gaadha' is fun". The Hindu. 12 February 2016.
  47. ^ "Box office collection: 'Krishna Gadi Veera Prema Gadha' is Nani's biggest opener; 'Garam' starts well". International Business Times. 13 February 2016.
  48. ^ "Make way for this 'Gentleman'". The Hindu. 18 June 2016.
  49. ^ "Nani's Top 5 films WW shares". TeluguSquare.
  50. ^ "Majnu Final Total WW Collections". Andhra Box Office. 3 November 2016.
  51. ^ "Nani Ninnu Kori: Movie Review". The Hans India. Retrieved 2017.
  52. ^ "nani's double hat-trick with nenu local". 3 February 2017.
  53. ^ Kavirayani, Suresh (April 21, 2018) Nani's successful run interrupted. Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  54. ^ "Award Winners Announced for Toronto After Dark 2013! Zombie Film Battery, Fly Revenge Eega Win Big!". Toronto After Dark Film Festival. 1 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  55. ^ Zee Cinemalu Awards 2017 - Results & Voting Trends. Retrieved on 2018-08-10.
  56. ^ Zee Cinemalu awards 2017 list: Jr. NTR king and Samantha is queen of 2016 - Mashables. (25 March 2017). Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  57. ^ Nani Won Hero Of The Year 2016 For Gentleman at TSR-TV9 National Film Awards - NOIX TV. YouTube (8 April 2017). Retrieved 14 April 2017.

External links

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