Naga Chaitanya Akkineni is an Indian actor who primarily works in Telugu cinema. He made his acting debut with Josh (2009) and his breakthrough came with Gautham Vasudev Menon-directed Ye Maaya Chesave (2010). He has won several film awards including Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut – South, Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor and SIIMA Award for Best Actor (Critics).
Early life and education
Naga Chaitanya was born on 23 November 1986 in Hyderabad, Telangana, India to actor Akkineni Nagarjuna and Lakshmi Daggubati. His paternal grandfather, actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and his maternal grandfather, producer D. Ramanaidu are prominent figures in Telugu cinema. Chaitanya’s parents got divorced when he was a child. Both his parents later remarried. While Nagarjuna married former actress Amala Mukherjee, Lakshmi married Sharath Vijayaraghavan, a corporate executive at Sundaram Motors. Chaitanya has a paternal half-brother, actor Akhil Akkineni and a maternal step brother.
Chaitanya completed his schooling at Oakridge International School in Hyderabad and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. He also studied keyboard at Trinity College London.
Chaitanya made his acting debut with the 2009 Telugu film Josh, directed by Vasu Varma. The film was a commercial success and Chaitanya was praised for his performance. He followed it up with the films 100% Love (2011), Tadakha (2013) and Manam (2014). All three films were successful at the box office.
In 2015, Chaitanya starred in the romantic comedy Premam, directed by Chandoo Mondeti. The film was a critical and commercial success and Chaitanya won several awards for his performance, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu. He followed it up with the films Shailaja Reddy Alludu (2018), Majili (2019) and Bangarraju (2022). All three films were successful at the box office.
Chaitanya made his Bollywood debut in the 2022 film Laal Singh Chaddha, directed by Advait Chandan. The film is an adaptation of the 1995 American film Forrest Gump.
Chaitanya married actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu on 6 October 2017. The couple filed for divorce in October 2021.
Awards and nominations
- Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut – South (2010) – Josh
- Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor (2014) – Manam
- SIIMA Award for Best Actor (Critics) (2015) – Premam
- CineMAA Award for Best Actor (2015) – Premam
- Santosham Film Award for Best Actor (2015) – Premam
- Zee Cine Awards South for Best Actor (2015) – Premam
- Apsara Award for Best Actor (2015) – Premam
- South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actor (2015) – Premam
Chaitanya is a brand ambassador for several charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation India and the Smile Train. He is also a vocal advocate for animal rights.
Chaitanya has cited his father, Akkineni Nagarjuna, as his biggest influence. He has also said that he admires the work of actors like Kamal Haasan, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Chaitanya has several upcoming projects, including the films Thank You, Aamir and Bangarraju. He is also set to make his Hollywood debut in the film Thank You.