Name: Ghanta Naveen Babu
Birthday: 24th February 1984
Known For: Before becoming a big name in the film industry, Nani used to be known for being a radio jockey.
Debut Film: Ashta Chamma
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: Anjana Yelavarthy
Children: Arjun Ghanta
Relationships: Anjana Yelavarthy
Awards: Vijay Award for Best Debut Actor, South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actor, South Indian International Movie Award for Entertainer of the Year, Zee Cine Award Telugu for Favourite Actor of the Year – Male, Critics Choice Film Award for Best Actor – Male
As an undergraduate, Nani got addicted to movies, citing Mani Ratnam as a major influence. He wanted to become a director; producer Anil, allowed Nani to work on his film Radha Gopalam as a “clap director” alongside director Bapu. He then worked for films including Allari Bullodu, Dhee, and Astram. Nani took a sabbatical to work on a film script. Bhargavi Mallela, a friend who was then working as a radio jockey for World Space Satellite, offered Nani work as an RJ.
He accepted and worked for one year, hosting a program named “Non-Stop Nani”. Director Mohan Krishna Indraganti noticed Nani in an advertisement and offered him a role in the film Ashta Chamma, also starring Swati Reddy. Ashta Chamma was well received by critics, and Nani’s performance was praised by them.
His second film, Ride, was produced by Bellamkonda Suresh, with Tanish, Swetha Basu Prasad, and Aksha Pardasany playing important roles. Ride was also a notable success at the box office. He next starred in Satyam Bellamkonda’s film Snehituda… opposite Maadhavi Latha. It opened to negative reviews and the film was a flop at the box office.
In 2010, he played the main role in the film Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu, a remake of Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, with Saranya Mohan. The film opened to positive reviews with Nani’s performance receiving appreciation. The film was a surprise hit at the box office.
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, making her debut in Telugu. Nani’s performance in the film received positive reviews. The film was a blockbuster at the box office. Simultaneously he did a Tamil film, Veppam, with Anjana as director which marked his debut in Tamil cinema. Veppam received mixed reviews, but Nani and Bindu Madhavi were appreciated. It was dubbed into Telugu as Sega. Both the versions were flops at the box office.
Nani’s final release of 2011 was Pilla Zamindar, in which he reunited with fellow Ashta Chamma actor Srinivas Avasarala. Pilla Zamindar opened to mostly positive reviews from critics, and Nani’s performance as a spoilt-brat-turned-leader was well appreciated. 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 Ruth Prabhu, and Kannada actor Sudeep. The film was a blockbuster at the box office and was dubbed into Hindi as Makkhi and into Malayalam as Eecha.
His last release in 2012 was Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu opposite Samantha Ruth Prabhu once again. Nani made a guest appearance in the Tamil version too. His portrayal of Varun Krishna was highly appreciated by critics. His performance in Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu is considered to be one of his best performances to date. Though the film received mixed reviews from film critics, it had a positive response at the box office, especially in multiplexes due to Nani and Samantha’s performances.
In 2014, Nani was first seen in Krishna Vamsi’s Paisa and opened to negative reviews, yet Nani’s performance was appreciated by critics. The film was a disaster at the box office. He next starred in Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of the 2010 Hindi film Band Baaja Baarat. 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 and was a commercial failure.
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.
Another release of his, Yevade Subramanyam was also released on the same date as Jenda Pai Kapiraju to a majority of positive responses and reviews and was commercially successful. Next was Nani’s Bhale Bhale Magadivoy, directed by Maruthi Dasari. The movie received positive responses from critics. 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.
It was also Nani’s second blockbuster since Rajamouli’s Eega and the first blockbuster in which Nani played a full-length role.
In 2016, his first movie was Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha with newcomer Mehreen Pirzada as the female lead. The film opened with a positive response from critics. It was praised for the performances of the cast and criticized for the excessive runtime. The movie fared well at the box office. Thus, became Nani’s biggest opener in India, beating the records of his last film Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.
Nani’s second release in 2016 was Gentleman, a romantic murder mystery thriller directed by Indraganti Mohan Krishna. Nani played a dual role in the film. Surbhi and Nivetha Thomas starred alongside Nani in the movie. The movie was released to positive reviews and went on to become Nani’s 3rd highest grosser. Gentleman was praised for the performances but criticized for its predictability.
His last release in 2016 was a romantic comedy titled Majnu. Directed by Uyyala Jampala fame Virinchi Varma, the film saw Nani co-star alongside Anu Emmanuel and Priya Sri. The film was one of Nani’s weakest films since Yevade Subramanyam. Praised for its comedy and criticized for its lengthiness and weak story, Majnu received mixed reviews and failed to cross the expected 30 crore mark.
Nenu Local, directed by Trinadha Rao Nakkina, cast Nani alongside Keerthy Suresh. This movie was given average reviews from the critics. His performance changed everything for the movie and led it towards becoming a success. It emerged as a blockbuster, collecting over fifty crores, and became Nani’s highest-grossing movie to date.
In Ninnu Kori Nani co-starring alongside Nivetha Thomas once more. The film also had Aadhi Pinisetty in a pivotal role. This film emerged in response to generally positive reviews. It became a hit and was Nani’s second-highest-grossing film, excluding Eega. The next and last film released in 2017 was Middle Class Abbayi, directed by Venu Sree Ram, which Nani co-starred alongside Sai Pallavi. This movie was again given strictly average reviews, saying that the story was very conventional and that the music and Nani and Bhumika’s performance were the highlights of the film.
The film went on to gross more than 70 crores and became the 7th highest-grossing Telugu film of 2017, becoming the highest-grossing Nani film (excluding Eega), again. His next project was Krishnarjuna Yudham, which was released in 2018. This movie was Nani’s first failure after 8 consecutive successes at the box office. It was praised for Nani’s performance, but the film flopped, becoming a disaster, failing to recover 18 of the 30 crores in the budget.
His next release was Devadas, a comedy multistarrer in which he played the role of a doctor. He starred alongside star actor Nagarjuna. It was average at the box office due to the relatively big-budget and strictly average word of mouth. Nani’s first release in 2019 was Jersey, which opened to positive reviews from both critics and audiences and became a feel-good hit at the box office, collecting nearly 65 crores.
His next release in 2019 was Gang Leader, which was released with positive reviews. His next project was his 25th film V, directed by Mohan Krishna Indraganti, co-starring Nivetha Thomas and Sudheer Babu, in which he played a negative role. The film received mixed-to-negative reviews with praise towards Nani’s performance. He next appeared in Tuck Jagadish alongside Ritu Varma. The film received negative reviews.
Nani’s next film was a Periodic-Drama film Shyam Singha Roy. It was released in 2021 and received mixed to positive reviews, with praise towards the performances of Nani, Sai Pallavi, Krithi Shetty, Madonna Sebastian.
Controversy: Nani’s latest film Shyam Singha Roy faced backlash on social media after some people claimed that it was ‘anti-Hindu’ and that it hurt their sentiments.
Latest News: Nani recently made the news after being vocal about various issues faced by the Telugu movie industry. He believes that Tollywood lacks unity and togetherness.
Latest Movies: Shyam Singha Roy
Latest Series: None
Upcoming Movies: Ante Sundaraniki