30-year-old Samantha Ruth Prabhu is a self-made celebrity. Raised in Chennai's Pallavaram, she comes from a middle-class family. Samantha was a student of Commerce at Stella Maris College and was also doing modelling part time and this is what opened the film industry for her.
She started her career in the Tamil industry with Moscowin Kavery, but it was the Telugu hit Ye Maaya Chesaave, directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, that made her a household name. The film was also made in Tamil as Vinaithaandi Varuvayaa, where she made a guest appearance.
Following this film, offers kept coming her way and she did a mix of both Tamil and Telugu films. She did Baana Kaathadi in Tamil with actor Atharva, and then went on to star opposite actor Mahesh Babu in Dookadu, which became a massive hit.
However, it was SS Rajamouli's Eega that truly allowed her to showcase her acting potential with a meaty role and cast opposite Nani. Following this, she landed yet another fleshed out role in Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu in 2012 (Neethaane En Pon Vasantham in Tamil), another bi-lingual from Gautam Vasudev Menon. She was then seen in some guest roles before acting in Manam where she played two characters spanning across different generations.
She then went back to Tamil films, and with top heroes like Vijay, Vikram, Suriya and Dhanush. She had etched her space in Tollywood, but was termed as 'bad luck' by a few members of the Tamil Industry.
Responding to this, Samantha had said in an interview in 2014 that, "Being born and brought up in Chennai, it was but natural that I wanted to do good films in Tamil and succeed here in my own hometown. However, I feel it is important to learn from the mistakes I made in the past and try not to repeat them. Even now, I am a little nervous about whether Tamil audiences will accept me. "
As luck would have it, she then acted with top heroes in the Tamil industry including Vijay, Vikram, Suriya and Dhanush.
The actor has several big films line-up including Atlee-Vijay’s Mersal, Irumbu Thirai starring Vishal and Arjun and Super Deluxe directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja starring Vijay Sethupathi. She has also been roped in for a film with Sivakarthikeyan and directed by Ponram.
She very once said, “Before choosing a script, I will definitely take a look at the filmmaker’s previous outings. Next, is the script itself. Only then other things come into consideration. I get excited more about the director with whom I am going to work than the hero."
As far as success and failure are concerned, she is extremely candid. " I don’t vie for anyone’s money or movie. I don’t also compete with anyone. And more importantly, the ‘number one’ game keeps changing every Friday when a new film is released,” she had said.
Born and raised in Chennai to superstar Akkineni Nagarjuna and Lakshmi Daggubati, 30-year-old Naga Chaitanya went on to study at Trinity College, London. He is also an auto enthusiast who has been racing since he was 18. He debuted in 2009 with Josh, for which he won the Filmfare Award South for Best Male Debut.
His second film, however, is the one that got him critical acclaim. Ye Maaye Chesave, on the sets of which he met Samantha, went on to earn a cult status. The film was simultaneously made in Tamil as Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya with a different cast, and released together. This was Samantha’s debut film.
He stumbled for a few films after that, with movies such as 100% Love, Dhada and Bejawada. However, his career took off after the 2013 movie Tadakha, a remake of N Linguswamy’s Vettai. The film was a mass entertainer, and was a hit at the box office.
Period-entertainer Manam was an Akkineni family production which starred Nagarjuna and Akkineni Nageswara Rao, which also starred Samantha. Manam was critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful. Set over a period of 100 years, it dealt with the concepts of eternal love and rebirth. Chaitanya bagged the South Indian International Movie Award for Best Actor for this film.
His next big film was Oka Laila Kosam, a romance film which also starred Pooja Hegde. It opened to good reviews, with many praising the performance of the actors, and said that Chaitanya had done justice to his role.
Gautam Menon’s romantic-thriller Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo won Naga Chaitanya critical acclaim, but the film opened to mixed reviews.
His next film, Premam, a remake of the 2015 Malayalam film of the same name, was one of the biggest hits of Naga Chaitanya’s career. He was last seen in Yuddham Sharanam, which opened to average reviews.