Nani (actor)


Nani at the Eega release function in 2012
Born Naveen Babu Ghanta
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
(now in Telangana, India)
Residence Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Other names Natural Star [1]
Occupation Actor, producer, assistant director
Years active 2008–present
Spouse(s) Anjana Yalavarthi
Website Official website

Naveen Babu Ghanta,[2] better known by his nickname Nani, is a South Indian actor who stars in Telugu films and few Tamil films. After his education, he became an assistant director and worked with Srinu Vaitla and Bapu,[3] before working as an RJ for World Space Satellite in Hyderabad.[4] He won Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor – South for the film Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.[5]

Early life

Nani was brought up in Hyderabad, India. He has one sister, Deepthi. He did his schooling from St. Alphonsa's High School and then studied in Narayana Junior College, S.R Nagar before graduating from Wesley's.[4]

Personal life

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 Visakhapatnam that was attended by both our families." The couple got married on 27 October that year, in a private ceremony in Visakhapatnam.[6]



During his graduation, Nani "got addicted" to movies, citing Mani Ratnam as a big influence on him.[4] 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.[4] He then worked for films including Allari Bullodu, Dhee and Astram. 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.[4] He accepted and worked for one year, hosting a program named "Non-Stop Nani".[7] He was offered the film Ashta Chamma, also starring Swati Reddy, when the film's director Mohan Krishna Indraganti noticed him in an advertisement.[4] Ashta Chamma was well received by critics and Nani's performance was praised by them. 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."[8] The film was a Super Hit at the Box office.[9] 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.[10] He next starred in Satyam Bellamkonda's film Snehituda... opposite Maadhavi Latha. Snehituda opened to negative reviews and the film was a flop at the Box office.[11] In 2010, he played the main role in the film Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu, a remake of Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, with Saranya Mohan reprising her role as the heroine. The film opened to positive reviews with Nani's performance receiving appreciation. Rediff said Nani "perfectly fits the bill" and praised him for selecting the script,[12] and Oneindia Entertainment commented that Nani "has given his best" and "suited perfectly to the role".[13] The film was a surprise hit at the Box office.[14]


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 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".[15][16] The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office.[17] 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"[18] while Sify called Nani's performance as "riveting" and added that the viewer "can't take eyes off" him.[19] It was dubbed into Telugu as Sega. Both the versions were flops at the respective Box offices.[20] 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. "[21] IndiaGlitz wrote "Performance-wise, Nani delivers a matured output in the second half as a youth in self-introspecting and self-correcting mode."[22] 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. IBN Live commented that Nani "sizzled" in his performance[23] while Rediff praised that Nani "makes a mark in his brief role".[24] The film was a Blockbuster at the Box office and was dubbed into Hindi as Makkhi and into Malayalam as Eecha.[25]

Ajay Devgan, Nani and Rajamouli during the special screening of Makkhi-(Hindi dubbed version of Eega (2012))

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."[26] 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."[27] 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".[28] Though the film received mixed reviews from film critics,[29] it had a positive response at the box office, especially in multiplexes due to Nani and Samantha's performances[30] and was declared a Hit at the Box Office.[31]


Nani turned producer for the film D for Dopidi, which was co-produced by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. and starred Sundeep Kishan and Varun Sandesh. He also lent his voice to the film.[32] The film was a flop at the box office.[33]

In 2014, Nani was first seen in Krishna Vamsi's Paisa. The film revolved around the power of money and its influence over everything in society.[34] Nani played the role of Prakash, a Sherwani model who is obsessed with gaining money.[35] The film opened to mixed reviews; Nani's performance was appreciated by 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."[36] The film had an average performance at the box office.[37] He next starred in Yash Raj Films' maiden south Indian production Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of the 2010 Hindi film Band Baaja Baaraat (also produced by Yash Raj Films). It was partly shot simultaneously in Telugu under the same title. The film received mixed reviews but Nani's performance as Shakti was well received. Sify called his performance "pitch perfect"[38] while IndiaGlitz wrote, "Nani is the apple of everyone's eyes once again, adding a good dose of humour in his presence".[39] Behindwoods commented that "Aaha Kalyanam provides great scope for the leads and Nani, who is known for his intense roles, fits the character of a carefree youth perfectly, with his broken English and casual attitude."[40]

Nani played a dual role for the first time in the 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.[41][42] On September 4, 2015,Nani's Bhale Bhale Magadivoy hit the screens directed by Maruthi Dasari and produced by geetha arts in association with UV creations the movie received positive responses from critics Pranita Jonnalagedda of The Times of India gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated that Bhale Bhale Magadivoy comes across as a "breath of fresh air" because it "successfully keeps itself away from the regular formula of romantic comedies [and is] devoid of the oh-so-overused cliches" and is a "delight for anyone looking for wholesome entertainment".[43] The film was a BlockBuster at the box office and went onto to become the fourth-highest grossing Telugu film of all time at the United States box office.[44]

In 2016, his first movie was Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha a Telugu romantic comedy film written and directed by Hanu Raghavapudi and produced under the banner of 14 Reels Entertainment saw newcomer Mehreen Pirzada as the female lead.The film opened with positive response from critics, Sangeetha Devi Dundoo of The Hindu while giving the movie 3 out of 5 stars said that "Hanu Raghavapudi proves his mettle with Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha and makes it an entertaining watch".[45] The movie fared really well at the box office. Thus,became Nani's biggest opener in India, beating the records of his last film Bhale Bhale Magadivoy.[46]



S.No Year Title Role(s) Language Notes
1 2008 Ashta Chamma Rambabu / Mahesh Telugu Debut
2 2009 Ride Arjun Telugu
3 2009 Snehituda... Sai Telugu
4 2010 Bheemli Kabadi Jattu Suri Telugu
5 2011 Ala Modalaindi Gautham Telugu
6 2011 Veppam Karthik Tamil


Vijay Award for Best Debut Actor
Nominated — SIIMA Award for Best Male Debutant
7 2011 Pilla Zamindar Praveen Jayaramaraju alias PJ Telugu
8 2012 Eega Nani Telugu Toronto After Dark award for Best Hero[47]
9 2012 Naan Ee Tamil
10 2012 Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu Varun Krishnan Telugu
11 2012 Neethaane En Ponvasantham Tamil Cameo appearance
12 2014 Paisa Prakash Telugu
13 2014 Aaha Kalyanam Shakthi Tamil
14 2014 Nimirndhu Nil Tamil cameo appearance
15 2015 Janda Pai Kapiraju Aravind Shiva Shankar
Maya Kannan
Telugu Dual role
16 2015 Yevade Subramanyam Subramanyam Telugu
17 2015 Dongaata Himself Telugu cameo appearance
18 2015 Bhale Bhale Magadivoy Lucky Telugu Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor – South [5]
19 2015 Palaandu Vaazhga Tamil Cameo appearance
20 2016 Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha Krishna Telugu
21 2016 Gentleman Jairam/Gautham Telugu Dual Role
22 2016 Jo Achyutananda Telugu Cameo Appearance
23 2016 Majnu Aditya Telugu
24 2016 Nenu Local Babu Telugu Filming[48]


Year Title Language Notes
2013 D for Dopidi Telugu Also Narrator

Awards and recognition

Year Award Category Film Result Source
2011 Vijay Award Best Debut Actor Veppam Won
2011 SIIMA Award Best Male Debutant Veppam Nominated
2012 Toronto After Dark Best Hero Eega Won [49]
2015 Filmfare Awards South Best Actor – South Bhale Bhale Magadivoy Won


  1. "Nani gets the tag of "Natural Star"".
  2. "Biography". Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  3. "Nani Biography". Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Nani interview – Telugu Cinema interview – Telugu film actor". 5 June 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  5. 1 2 Winners of the 63rd Britannia Filmfare Awards (South)
  6. "Hero Nani-Anjana Marriage Today ?". Cinema Mama. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  7. "Introducing Nani (Astha Chemma film) – Telugu cinema news". Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  8. "Movie Review : Ashta Chamma". 5 September 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  9. "'Ashta Chamma' unit shocked". The Hindu. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  10. "'Telugu producer Bellam Konda says the future belongs to the younger generation". IBN Live. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  11. "Hits and Flops of 2009 – Exclusive". 1 January 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  12. "'Bheemili Kabaddi Jattu is gripping". 9 July 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  13. "Bheemili Kabaddi – Review". Oneindia Entertainment. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  14. "2010 Roundup- Hits and Flops – Exclusive". 29 December 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  15. "Ala Modalaindi film review – Telugu cinema Review – Nani & Nitya Menon". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  16. "Ala Modalaindi is entertaining – Movies". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  17. "Ala Modalaindi's success party". The Times of India. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  18. "Veppam Review". The Times of India. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  19. "Movie Review : Veppam". 30 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  20. "Nani and Nithya bags a flop with Sega". 30 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  21. "Review: Pilla Zamindar is Nani's show all the way". 14 October 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  22. "Pilla Zamindar – College set-up scores, routine screenplay mars". IndiaGlitz. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  23. "Telugu Review: 'Eega' is a cerebral revenge". IBN Live. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  24. "Review: Eega is brilliant cinema". 6 July 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  25. "Eega beats Mahesh Babu's Businessman collections". The Times of India. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  26. "Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu: Like a gentle breeze". The Hindu. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  27. "Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu – Gripping conversational love story". IndiaGlitz. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  28. "Aaha Kalyanam – A rom-com in right mind". IndiaGlitz. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  29. "Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu bags mostly positive reviews from film critics". Oneindia Entertainment. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  30. "YVM: Samantha casting a spell on audiences". Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  31. "Tollywood Hits and Flops 2012 – Exclusive". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  32. "Actor Nani to turn producer – Times of India". 24 September 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  33. "TWO STARS REIGNED IN 2013". 31 December 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  34. "In the end, Krishna Vamsi's Paisa is all about the moolah". The Hindu. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  35. "Nani as Prakash, Catherine as Noor in Paisa". The Times of India. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  36. "Paisa: Dance of money". The Hindu. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  37. "Exclusive: Box office report for the week ending 16/02/14". 16 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  38. "Movie Review : Aaha Kalyanam". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  39. "Aaha Kalyanam – Happily ever after". IndiaGlitz. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  40. "Aaha Kalyanam Movie Review".
  41. "Jenda Pai Kapiraju to release on March 7?". The Times of India. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  42. "Jandapai Kapiraju releasing finally". Iqlikmovies.
  43. "Bhale Bhale Magadivoi Movie Review". The Times of India. 26 November 2015.
  44. "US box office collection: 'Bhale Bhale Magadivoy' unlikely to beat Pawan Kalyan's 'Attarintiki Daredi' record". International Business Times. 13 October 2015.
  45. "Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha: This 'gaadha' is fun". The Hindu. 12 February 2016.
  46. "Box office collection: 'Krishna Gadi Veera Prema Gadha' is Nani's biggest opener; 'Garam' starts well". International Business Times. 13 February 2016.
  47. "Award Winners Announced for Toronto After Dark 2013! Zombie Film Battery, Fly Revenge Eega Win Big!". Toronto After Dark Film Festival. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  48. "Nani joins 2nd schedule of Nenu Local". The times of india. Retrieved Sep 6, 2016.
  49. "Award Winners Announced for Toronto After Dark 2013! Zombie Film Battery, Fly Revenge Eega Win Big!". Toronto After Dark Film Festival. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.

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