Art & Entertainment

Naga Chaitanya Gets Candid About OTT Debut With ‘Dhootha’, Working With Vikram K. Kumar And More

According to Naga Chaitanya, the concept of ‘Dhootha’ about these newspaper predictions, and the backstory to it just “blew his mind”.

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Naga Chaitanya In ‘Dhootha’
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Naga Chaitanya recently forayed into the world of OTT with Prime Video’s first long-format Telugu original series, ‘Dhootha’, which released on December 1. In the show, Naga Chaitanya plays Sagar, who is a well known investigative journalist on the verge of launching a newspaper. However, soon enough, he gets caught in a maze of mysterious incidents of crime.

For the part in this dark thriller, the actor has shed his ‘good boy’ image. Revealing how he got on board the project, Naga Chaitanya said that he was keen to be part of the OTT space. 

“Well, it was a time when as an actor, I really wanted to come out of my comfort zone and push myself, try something totally new and present myself to the audience with a makeover as an actor and the character I bring to them. Fortunately at that point, Vikram came to me with ‘Dhootha’, he narrated the first episode to me and I was blown away by the screenplay, and the set up for the show. OTT has been a space I had been curious about, wanting to explore, so it all fell into place at the right time, and it made sense for me to take it up, and present myself,” the actor exclusively told Outlook. 

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According to him, the concept of the show about these newspaper predictions, and the backstory to it as to how they are predicting these deaths just “blew his mind”.

‘Dhootha’ (messenger), the Telugu web series is helmed by Vikram K Kumar. The director-actor duo have collaborated earlier in Telugu films ‘Manam’ and ‘Thank You’.

Revealing how Vikram and he go back a long way, he shared, “We are more of friends than an actor-director, he is someone I really trust and communicate with easily and can understand. Whenever he comes to me with a script, I am really excited. This is our third project together and getting to know each other was out of the way, it was more about talking about Sagar, ‘Dhootha’, really being excited for the script and diving into it. So, yes, from the second go, it was a breeze working with him.”

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The actor further delved into his preparation for the role of playing a journalist, something that “he has not done before”. He said, “So reading up about journalism, about their lives, about their processes itself was a start. Then learning about the character, which is not just black and white. Through the episodes, he starts questioning the ethics about journalism, about his personal life and there is so much of introspection that happens within him. So, yes, the first homework was to learn about a journalist, and I cannot consume too much thriller/horror content and I am scared as a viewer. So, that was quite hard but I eventually got there.”

The eight-episode supernatural suspense-thriller also stars Parvathy Thiruvothu, Ravindra Vijay, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Prachi Desai. And Naga Chaitanya couldn’t be more delighted to have a wonderful team on his OTT debut. 

“Honestly, your performance is truly enhanced depending on the actor you are acting with, there’s a lot of energy transfer. So my performance was really complimented by their energy on the sets, I learnt so much from them,” he said. 

Last but not the least, Naga Chaitanya called OTT a “really exciting space to be in”. 

“I feel there are so many different characters you can tell on OTT, and some out of the box roles, we actors can attempt and play in the OTT space. Also, what’s exciting is the 300 minutes plus of screen time that really lets you explore the character. ‘Dhootha’ is released in 200+ countries, so it is great exposure for an actor. I think the audience is also clear about the content they want to watch on OTT and what they want to go to the theatres for. So as an actor, if we can really balance out both spaces cleverly, it is great exposure to be present at both,” the actor signed off.

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Produced by Sharrath Marar under the banner of NorthStar Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the series is now streaming in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam on Prime Video.

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