N. T. Rama Rao Jr.
N. T. Rama Rao Jr.
Rao in 2018
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr.
20 May 1983
|Residence||Film Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India|
Nandamuri Lakshmi Pranathi (m. 2011)
|Relatives||See Nandamuri family|
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr. (born 20 May 1983), also known as Jr. NTR or Tarak, is an Indian film actor, Kuchipudi dancer, playback singer and television personality known for his works in Telugu cinema. He is the grandson of Telugu actor N. T. Rama Rao, who was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and who was commonly referred to as "NTR". In 1996, he starred as a child artist in Ramayanam, which won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film for that year. His debut as an adult was in 2000 with the film Ninnu Choodalani. In his film career spanning 18 years, Rao has worked in twenty eight films. He has received two state Nandi Awards, two Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards and four CineMAA Awards.
He received critical reception for his performance in works such as Student No.1 (2001), Aadi (2002), Simhadri (2003), Rakhi (2006), Yamadonga (2007), Adhurs (2010), Brindavanam (2010 film) (2010), Baadshah (2013 film) (2013), Temper (2015), Nannaku Prematho (2016), Janatha Garage (2016), Jai Lava Kusa (2017), and Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava (2018). He was ranked 27th in Forbes India Celebrity 100 list in 2012 with an annual income of ₹190 million (US$3.042 Million) and 55th in 2016 with an annual income of ₹360 million.
Rama Rao Jr. was born on 20 May 1983 in Hyderabad to Telugu film actor and politician Nandamuri Harikrishna and Shalini Bhaskar Rao. He is the grandson of Telugu actor and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. T. Rama Rao. He did his schooling at Vidyaranya High School, Hyderabad, and completed his Intermediate education at St. Mary's College, Hyderabad. He is a trained Kuchipudi dancer.
He is the half-brother of actor and producer Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, the nephew of actor and politician Nandamuri Balakrishna and current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, and the cousin of actor Taraka Ratna and also politician Nara Lokesh.
Debut and struggles (2001–2006)
After the success of the debut film "Bala Ramayanam", director Gunasekhar recommended Jr.NTR to director S. S. Rajamouli to act in his debut Student No. 1, during mid-2000 after being impressed with his performance in the auditions and his previous film Bala Ramayanam, However the film went under production for so long. He was later signed by producer Ramoji Rao, and decided to work on the romantic drama Ninnu Choodalani to make his debut as a full-time hero. By that time, he was only 17 in his debut film. The film had another debutante Raveena Rajput, and consisted of an ensemble cast of K. Viswanath, and Kaikala Satyanarayana who played their grandparents.
He then signed up for another debutant director VV Vinayak's Aadi. For the first time, he played a youth cum action hero, who is trying to take revenge on a landlord for the death of his parents. The film was one of the highest grossers of 2002, just behind Chiranjeevi's Indra. The film ran for more than 200 days and gave him a fan following due to the success of the film, and he rose from obscurity to stardom. He then signed up for veteran director B. Gopal's Allari Ramudu. The film was an average grosser, but managed to run for more than 100 days. He then signed up for A. M. Rathnam's political thriller Naaga. He then collaborated with the same director SS Rajamouli for the action masala film Simhadri which became Industry hit at that time. He gave a new look, in order to get rid of the youth one, and grew a light beard. giving him the title of Young Tiger. He later quit youth films and started experimenting with faction dramas.
Rao later signed up Puri Jagannadh's Andhrawala, which was an action drama. The director, had successful releases in the past year, and this film created a lot of hype. He played a leader of the village. The film was an expensive film made with a budget of ₹100 million. He then signed up another faction film, Samba with his old director V. V. Vinayak. For the first time in his career, he experimented by acting in a family drama film Naa Alludu. He played a dual role of Karthik, a responsible man who has an aim to work in a good business company and Murugan, a Tamil- speaking villager who works in the business of coconut water. He then collaborated with director B. Gopal for a film Narasimhudu who was riding high on the success of Indra. Bollywood actresses Ameesha Patel, and Sameera Reddy were selected, with the latter making her Telugu debut. He lost his position among the top heroes of Tollywood. Rao took a one-year hiatus, and then later signed up for Surender Reddy's Ashok. The film saw him pairing with Sameera Reddy for the second time. The film was financially unsuccessful for the producers, thus continuing his string of unsuccessful films.
Breakthrough and success (2006–2010)
Rao later signed up for Krishna Vamsi's experimental Rakhi. The film was a social drama cum brother-sister sentiment. For this film, he had to deliver a lot of dialogue. Veteran actress Suhasini Maniratnam acted as a police officer from Tamil Nadu in this film. The film is considered to be one of Rao's finest performances in his career.
Rao collaborated with director SS Rajamouli for the third time for a socio – fantasy film Yamadonga. For this film, he had to sport a new look by shedding more than 20 kg. as he used to be 94 kg. Veteran actors and actresses Mohan Babu and Kushboo signed up to act in this film. Rao played Raja, a thief who later criticizes and insults Yama and then suddenly goes into hell due to some bad acts. The film received extremely positive reviews, and later brought him back to the top league in Tollywood, and this film made him receive a Filmfare award for best actor in Telugu. Late actor Sobhan Babu praised Rao's performance too.
Rao later signed up for the action film Kantri which was directed by debutant Meher Ramesh a protege of Puri Jagannadh. The film though receiving mixed reviews, earned some attention, as Rao's dances helped it. Rao's dance steps in the song "I Go Crazy" and "123 Nenoka Kantri" were highly appreciated by many critics. In 2009, Rao took a year hiatus to campaign for Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the 2009 general elections.
Rao signed up for the action-comedy Adhurs, in which he played dual roles for the third time after Andhrawala, and Naa Alludu, after a 1-year-hiatus. Adhurs grossed more than ₹400 million. Adhurs released in early 2010 and managed to gross more than ₹500 million. He then returned to romantic films after a 9-year gap. His second release, the romantic comedy Brindavanam was directed by Vamsi Paidipally and produced by ace producer Dil Raju who is known for romantic films. He was paired opposite beauties Kajal Aggarwal and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The film received positive reviews, became a success an emerged to be one of the highest grossers of 2010, beating his uncle's Simha. His position in Tollywood went sky-high due to the consecutive successes.
Further success (2011–present)
Rao collaborated with Kantri director Meher Ramesh for a historical fantasy action film Shakti. The film was very expensive and was produced on a budget of ₹420 million. He paired with Ileana D'Cruz for the second time after the critically acclaimed Rakhi. He then collaborated with Ashok director Surender Reddy for the romantic action film Oosaravelli in which he was paired opposite Tamannaah. Though the film received mixed reviews stating that the film was only for hardcore NTR fans,. He was placed 66th in the Forbes list of India's top celebrities.
Rao signed Sreenu Vaitla movie name Baadshah in which he sported a new look by straightening his curly hair, and growing a beard, in order to suit the don image. The film became a sleeper hit. Baadshah's final figures was over ₹480 million in 50 days. Times of India, described his performance as a cakewalk, and described his comic timing as a commendable show. His dances and emotions were described as impressive.
Rao's next release of 2013, was the revenge drama Ramayya Vasthavayya, directed by Harish Shankar which created lots of expectations. The film had him pairing opposite to Shruti Hassan for the first time, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu for the second time. The Times of India described his performance by stating "The film is packaged entirely around its hero with NTR looking uber cool and as stylish as ever. He got into the skin of the character and has delivered a fantastic performance to shoulder the film. All in all, Ramayya Vasthavayya's first half is a fun-ride as you see NTR in his elements."
This was the worst period in Rao's career and Baadshah was the only film which gave him success. It was Baadshah which provided him stardom in Japan. Baadshah was premiered at the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2014 held in Japan.
In 2015 he starred in Temper with Kajal Aggarwal as the female lead directed by the ace director Puri Jagannadh. It turned out to be a much needed hit for Rao after a series of debacles and his performance as a corrupted cop Daya who turns a good doer was appreciated by audience and critics alike. GreatAndhra.com described the movie as an out and out emotional movie with a strong message by stating "While the first half mostly shows how a corrupt Daya is forced to stop and change, it is the second half that really gets the story going. Probably, it is this half that NTR fans will love the most as it has good doses of emotions which are his strong point."
Following the success of Temper, Rao started working on his next venture Nannaku Prematho directed by Sukumar under the production of Sri Venkateswara Cine Chitra and Reliance Entertainment. Rakul Preet Singh played the female lead while Jagapathi Babu and Rajendra Prasad played supporting roles. He has won Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu for his Performance at 2016. NTR sported a new look with gelled up hair and long beard for this movie. The movie was released on 13 January 2016 and received mostly positive reviews from critics and audience. The Times of India gave a positive review stating that "Nannaku Prematho is like a delectable serving of dessert with a hint of tang. The flavour may seem out of place initially because you aren't used to it. But if you try it with an open mind, you'd probably savour it." The movie eventually turned out to be the highest grosser in Rao's career surpassing Baadshah with a worldwide gross of ₹82.7 crore (US$12 million). His performance in the movie earned NTR his second Filmfare Award after Yamadonga.
Later in the same year, Rao starred in the September release Janatha Garage, directed by Koratala Siva, where he was cast alongside the Malayalam superstar Mohanlal. The film also starred Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Nithya Menen in female lead roles. Marathi actor Sachin Khedekar and Unni Mukundan played antagonists in this emotional drama produced by Mythri Movie Makers. It was released on 1 September 2016 along with a Malayalam and received generally favorable reviews. The film registered the highest opening for a Telugu film in 2016, and was the second highest Telugu opening of all time, behind Baahubali: The Beginning. Indian Express gave a negative review stating that "Despite a good message, this Mohanlal and Jr NTR film is a predictable, run-of-the-mill drama that fails to offer anything new." It became the 3rd highest grosser of Tollywood behind Baahubali: The Beginning and Srimanthudu.
In the following year of 2017, Rao signed his next movie under the direction of K. S. Ravindra on N.T.R. Arts banner with his half-brother Nandamuri Kalyan Ram as the producer. Raashi Khanna and Nivetha Thomas were confirmed to play lead roles in this movie while Hollywood prosthetics and Legacy Effects expert Vance Hartwell was roped in to design a new look for Rao in this movie. The movie, titled Jai Lava Kusa, began shooting in February 2017. The movie was released on 21 September 2017. Ultimately, -Jai Lava Kusa has everything that one expects in a star film — comedy, action, drama, romance, etc. Box-office revenues apart, Jr NTR has once again proved with this film what a fine actor he is. It has proven NTR is one of finest actor in India. It got positive response and good ratings as well.
Later he signed the film Aravinda Sametha produced by S. Radha Krishna under the Haarika & Hassine Creations banner and was directed by Trivikram Srinivas. The film stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Pooja Hegde, and Eesha Rebba in the lead roles, and Jagapati Babu in a pivotal role. The music was composed by S. Thaman. It was released on 11 October 2018 to generally positive reviews from critics. It went on to become one of the highest-grossing Telugu films of all time.
Rao hosted the Telugu version of Bigg Boss reality show that was broadcast on the Star Maa channel. Rao's entry to the small screen was a huge success and had a record breaking ratings for Star Maa, making it the number one channel among all the shows. The first season of the show began airing on Star MAA from 16 July 2017.
Political stint and accident
Rao was one of the campaigners for the Telugu Desam Party, for the Indian general election, 2009 from April to May 2009. On 26 March 2009, after electioneering, en route to Hyderabad, the SUV in which he was a passenger, was struck head-on with another vehicle, at Suryapet. He and his companions were thrown out off the SUV and suffered injuries. He was treated at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, in Secunderabad, where he recuperated well.
In 2009, Rao announced that he intended to donate 20 lakhs to Chief Minister's Relief Fund to take up relief operations for flood victims. During Baadshah audio function in 2013, a fan died due to a heavy stampede, NTR along with producer Bandla Ganesh donated 5 lakhs to his family. Rao also promised to take care of his family, due to the fan's sudden demise.
|2016||Chakravyuha||"Geleya Geleya"||Kannada||S. Thaman||Sensational Special Mirchi Music Awards South 2015|||
|Nannaku Prematho||"Follow Follow"||Telugu||Devi Sri Prasad||Sensational Special Mirchi Music Awards South 2015
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer
|2014||Rabhasa||"Raakasi Raakasi"||Telugu||S. Thaman|
|2010||Adhurs||"Chari"||Telugu||Devi Sri Prasad|
|2008||Kantri||"123 Nenoka Kantri"||Telugu||Mani Sharma|
|2007||Yamadonga||"O Lammi Thikkareginda"||Telugu||M. M. Keeravani|
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