Nani at the Makkhi release function in 2012.
|Born||Naveen Babu Ghanta
February 24, 1984
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Residence||Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Occupation||Actor, Producer, Assistant Director, RJ|
Naveen Babu Ghanta, better known by his nickname Nani, is a South Indian actor who stars in Telugu and Tamil films. After his education, he became an assistant director and worked with Srinu Vaitla and Bapu, before working as an RJ for World Space Satellite in Hyderabad. An advertisement, featuring him, led to his first acting assignment in the form of Ashta Chamma.
Nani was born on February 24, 1984 and brought up in Hyderabad, Telangana. He has one sister, Deepthi Ganta. He did his schooling from St. Alphonsa's High School and studied in Narayana Junior College, S.R Nagar before graduating from Wesley’s.
Nani got engaged on 12 August 2012, to his girlfriend of five years, Anjana Yelavarthy. Speaking to Hyderabad Times, the actor said, "We exchanged rings in a simple ceremony in Vizag that was attended by both our families." They got married on 27 October 2012, in a private ceremony in Vizag.
2008-10 : Debut and Breakthrough
During his graduation, Nani "got addicted" to movies, citing Mani Ratnam as a big influence on him. 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. He then worked for films including Allari Bullodu, Dhee and Asthram. 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. He accepted and worked for one year, hosting a program named "Non-Stop Nani". He was offered the film Ashta Chamma, also starring Swati Reddy, when the film's director Mohan Krishna Indraganti noticed him in an advertisement. Ashta Chamma was well received by the critics and Nani's performance was praised by them. Sify.com 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." The film was a Super Hit at the Box office. 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. He next starred in Satyam Bellamkonda's film Snehituda... in which he starred opposite Madhavi Latha. Snehituda opened to Negative reviews and moreover due to the effect of Magadheera, the film was declared a flop at the Box office. In 2010, he played the main role in the film Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu, a remake of the film Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu in which Saranya Mohan reprises her role as the Heroine. Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu opened to positive reviews with Nani's performance as a Rural Kabaddi player received with real appreciation. While Rediff praised that Nani "perfectly fitts the bill" and praised him for selecting the script, Oneindia Entertainment commented that Nani "has given his best" and "suited perfectly to the role". The film was a surprise hit at the Box office.
2011-2012 : Rise as an Actor
His first release in 2011, Ala Modalaindi, was a romantic comedy written and directed by Nandini Reddy. Nithya Menen was the Heroine 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". The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office. 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" while Sify called Nani's performance as "riveting" and added that the viewer "can’t take eyes off" him. It was dubbed into Telugu as Sega. Both the versions were flops at the respective Box offices. 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 is able to portray the kaleidoscope of emotions demanded of him. " IndiaGlitz wrote "Performance-wise, Nani delivers a matured output in the second half as a youth in self-introspecting and self-correcting mode. " 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 into Tamil as Naan Ee, it featured Nani, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Kannada Superstar Sudeep in main roles. Eega received unusual positive response with Nani's act being praised. Hindustan Times called his performance "equally challenging" with famous Kannada Superstar Sudeep. IBN Live commented that Nani "sizzled" in his performance while Rediff praised that Nani "makes a mark in his brief role". The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office and it was dubbed into Hindi as Makkhi and into Malayalam as Eecha.
His last release of 2012 was Gautham Menon's Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu opposite Samantha Ruth Prabhu. It was the simultaneously shot Telugu version of the Tamil film Neethane En Ponvasantham which featured Jiiva in the 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." 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." His performance in Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu is considered to be one of his best performances till date and 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 himself may not better that act in the near future, that is in a similar role". Though the film bagged mixed reviews from film critics, it had a positive response at the box office, especially in multiplexes due to Nani and Samantha's performances and was declared a Hit at the Box Office.
2013-Present : Current Career
Nani turned producer for the film D for Dopidi which was co-produced by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.. He also lent his voice for the film that stars Sundeep Kishan and Varun Sandesh. However, the film turned out to be a flop at the Box office.
In 2014, Nani was first seen in Krishna Vamsi's Paisa. The film ervolved around the power of Money and its influence over everything in the society. In the film, Nani played the role of Prakash, a Sherwani Model in Old City who is obsessed to gain Money which even makes him pronounce his name as Pra'cash'. The film opened to mixed reviews with Nani's performance being appreciated by the 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 thereafter." The film was an Average at the Box office. He next starred in Yash Raj Films maiden south Indian production Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of the 2010 Super Hit Hindi film Band Baaja Baaraat also produced by Yash Raj Films. It was partly shot simultaneously into Telugu under the same title. Vaani Kapoor debuted as Heroine in the south with this film. The film received mixed reviews but Nani's performance as Shakti was well received. Sify called his performance "pitch perfect" while IndiaGlitz wrote "Nani is the apple of everyone's eyes once again, adding a good dose of humour in his presence."
His next film Janda Pai Kapiraju co-starring Amala Paul, the Simultaneously shot Telugu version of Nimirndhu Nil in which Jayam Ravi replace Nani, is scheduled for a release on March 7, 2014 in which Nani played his first Dual Role.
|2008||Ashta Chamma||Ram Babu / Mahesh||Telugu|
|2010||Bheemli Kabadi Jattu||Suri||Telugu|
|2011||Veppam||Karthik||Tamil||Vijay Award for Best Debut Actor
Nominated— SIIMA Award for Best Male Debutant
|2011||Pilla Zamindar||Praveen Jayaramaraju||Telugu|
|2012||Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu||Varun Krishnan||Telugu|
|2012||Neethaane En Ponvasantham||Tamil||Special appearance|
|2014||Aaha Kalyanam||Shakthi||Tamil||Telugu dubbed|
|2014||Nimirndhu Nil||Tamil||Special appearance|
|2014||Janda Pai Kapiraju||Aravind Shiva Shankar/Maya Kannan||Telugu|
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